An Integrated Pest, Disease and Weed Management Program for the Australian Apple and Pear Industry (AP16007)
What was it all about?
This investment, which ran from 2017 to 2020, assisted apple and pear growers in developing and maintaining pest-resilient farming systems using integrated pest management (IPM). It provided clear knowledge on the tools and systems required to implement IPM, which involves the effective combination of chemical, cultural and biological methods to control pests, diseases and other undesirables in a ‘whole of system’ approach.
This project was instigated by previous project, A needs analysis for IPM R&D in the Apple and Pear Industry (AP15014), which determined that while awareness was high and the necessary tools were available, adoption of true IPM across the industry was low.
A team of experts with knowledge of each growing region were assembled to review the existing information and provide region specific guidelines and training to engage growers and advisors. Regional differences in pest and disease issues were taken into consideration, and information on potential impacts of exotic incursions was provided.
A revised IPDM manual was developed, designed to suit various platforms that growers and advisors identified as preferred methods for receiving information. Training sessions and case studies were conducted in each apple and pear growing state, and a Community of Practice was established to share experiences and knowledge.
The team developed a dedicated IPDM website to centralise information, tools and resources, including an Ask an Expert service whereby national experts provide timely answers to questions submitted by growers, agronomists and other service providers.
During the life of the project there was a 20 per cent increase in grower and advisor knowledge and confidence in their ability to implement IPDM.
The desired longer-term outcome, to be achieved beyond completion of the project, will be an apple and pear industry with the confidence, knowledge and skills to adopt, implement and sustain a cost-effective low-risk IPDM-based farming system, resilient to changes in regulatory policy and new pest incursions that impact pest management options.
For further background on this project, see previous levy-funded project A needs analysis for IPM R&D in the Apple and Pear Industry (AP15014), which was the driving factor for establishing this integrated pest, disease and weed management program.
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This project was funded through the Hort Innovation Apple and Pear Fund using the apple and pear R&D levy and contributions from the Australian Government.
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