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Ongoing project

An integrated pest management program for the Australian almond industry – Phase 2 (AL22003)

Key research provider: Agriculture Victoria

What's it all about?

This project delivers an integrated pest management program for the Australian almond industry through providing growers with a toolkit of effective practices, new technologies and practical guidelines.

Through a diverse program of activities including field days, presentations and publications, the project will equip almond producers and processors with the knowledge and tools required to implement cost-effective integrated pest management strategies for carpophilus beetle and carob moth.

The priority focus areas for the project are to:

  • Complete the development of ‘attract and kill’ technology for carpophilus beetles
  • Complete the development of a female lure and trap for carob moth
  • Continue research on carob moth mating disruption
  • Develop improved strategies for management of postharvest and storage pests
  • Investigate options to improve biological control of carpophilus beetle and carob moth
  • Communicate knowledge and understanding of integrated pest management tools and strategies to industry through effective extension.

This investment follows on from the levy-funded project An integrated pest management program for the Australian almond industry (AL16009) which delivered a range of resources for almond growers, available on the Almond Board of Australia website.

Studies on insect mass trapping were completed over the 2022/23 summer to build on findings from the first phase of the IPM research program (project AL16009). A large field trial spread over approximately 30 hectares was used to investigate the optimal spacing for traps used for mass trapping of Carpophilus truncatus. These traps incorporated the new pheromone blend and co-attractant, designed during the first project to specifically target C. truncatus. Beetle samples from this trial are still being sorted and identified. Still, preliminary results indicate that the trial did achieve its aim of generating data suitable for assessing adequate trap spacing.

A second field trial confirmed that C. truncatus prefers trap colours other than black (the current industry standard for carpophilus trapping) and that a change in trap colour can potentially increase the catch of this species considerably (by over 40 per cent in this trial).

The composition of the lure for female carob moth has been refined through two field trials: the trials identified one of the lure constituents to be repellent (now omitted from the lure), one to be a critical attractant, and several additional compounds with the potential to boost lure efficacy. A third trial assessing different lure dispensers, together with the effect of combining male and female attractants, has been paused due to harvest activity.

Related levy funds

This project is a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Almond Fund