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Historical document

An IPM manual for Australia's apple and pear industry (AP07009)

Key research provider: NSW Department of Industry and Investment
Publication date: March, 2009

This is a final research report from Hort Innovation’s historical archives. Please note that as these reports may date back as far as the 1990s, the content and recommendations within them may be superseded by more recent research.

What was it all about?

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a science-based method of controlling pests. IPM targets "weak points" in pest life cycles and promotes the activities of biological control agents. IPM does not prohibit the use of pesticides but management is carefully considered and uses the best available option; a reduction in pesticide application almost always occurs.

Development and implementation of IPM is a high priority for the Australian apple and pear industry in response to the demands of domestic and international markets. I&I NSW led a collaborative project to develop an IPM manual by Australian farmers. Groups of 8 to 12 farmers were interviewed in 8 key Australian apple and pear production regions to determine which pests were considered most damaging and how they are currently controlled. Although very significant regional differences were recorded, the most significant diseases included apple scab, powdery mildew and phytophthora and the most significant insect pests included codling moth, apple dimpling bug and light brown apple moth.

On the basis of this information a prioritised pest list was produced and used to develop an IPM manual. The manual details an IPM strategy designed for Australian conditions and provides detailed information on the biology and management of the main pests affecting Australian pome fruit production. For each pest information is included on its impact, life cycle, prevention, monitoring and management.

In addition, information from these group interviews has been used to provide an indication of the major management techniques used in Australian orchards. While pesticide application is critical to the production of high quality fruit, a range of other techniques are widely used.

These techniques include the use of pheromone-based mating disruption to reduce the impact of codling moth and lightbrown apple moth. Cultural management including pruning are often undertaken to reduce pest numbers.

Where pesticides are necessary off-target impacts are considered and natural biological control agents such as predatory mites are considered. There is a general trend for industry to move toward pesticides with more targeted activity; affecting only the pest for which their application is intended.

Related levy funds

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Funding statement:
This project was funded by Hort Innovation (then Horticulture Australia Limited).

Copyright © Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited 2010. The Final Research Report (in part or as whole) cannot be reproduced, published, communicated or adapted without the prior written consent of Hort Innovation (except as may be permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)).