AS more growers embrace integrated pest and disease management (IPDM) in order to battle those things that inhibit their crops, having a range of tools to rely on becomes useful.
For citrus growers, the fight against scale, mite and gall wasp continues to require a concerted effort.
One company aiming to assist growers maintain the health of their orchards is SACOA.
The 25-year-old Australian-owned and operated business, produces a range of products focussed on pest, disease and water use efficiency.
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Within his presentation at this year's 2019 Citrus Technical Forum, SACOA national technical and marketing manager, Matt Sherriff, spoke on Biopest.
Biopest is a horticultural spray oil registered for control of insect pests and fungal pathogens in more than 50 crops including a range of tree and row crops.
According to Mr Sherriff, Biopest is the most advanced attempt yet to provide growers with an IPDM product capable of controlling multiple, unrelated pests and fungal diseases simultaneously.
The pure formulation was designed for use in combination with, or as a stand-alone, fungicide or insecticide.
"Biopest works primarily by smothering insect pests. It also deters insects from laying eggs and feeding on leaf surfaces by leaving a protective layer," Mr Sherriff said.
"For disease control, Biopest works by leaving a protective coating on the leaf -stopping fungus entering the leaf."
Pests controlled include aphids, whitefly, leaf hoppers, jassids, thrips, mealy bugs, mites, leaf miner and more than 10 different scale insects.
"Biopest works best when it is applied regularly in tank mixes prior to insect or disease levels building," Mr Sherriff said.
"It should be applied to the point of runoff at label rates of 0.5 - 2.0L/100Lwater."
"Applying as a protective coating to leaf/bark surfaces will reduce severity of pests such as gall wasp."
A trial at Mundubbera conducted by SACOA over the 2015/16 summer showed the benefits of Biopest in controlling gall wasp in citrus.
In this work, three weekly applications of Biopoest at 0.6 per cent in 10,000L/Ha of water applied in Spring proved more effective than the commercial standard in reducing gall wasp damage.
The product is available to use with bananas, avocados, stone and pome fruits, nut crops, grapes and olives.
It is also available for vegetables, strawberries, blueberries, tomatoes, cucurbits, custard apples, kiwi fruit, ornamentals, tree crops and many more.
SACOA boasts in-house discovery, product development and manufacturing, plus a strong pipeline of new products aimed at integrated pest and disease management, improving herbicide activity and root zone soil products.
Recent tree cropping research has focused on developing solutions for key pests such as mites, gall wasp and compatibility in summer conditions.
- Copy supplied by SACOA.