Scale and mealybug management options for lychee growers - an extension toolkit (LY20001)
What was it all about?
This investment, which ran from 2021 to 2023, delivered an extension toolkit for lychee growers on how to manage scale and mealybug pests effectively.
The project team surveyed lychee orchards across key growing regions during two growing seasons to gain an overview of the scale and mealybug problem, including collection of data on the diversity of these pests and what grower control practices are currently being used.
The information collected was developed into a grower manual and informative shed poster as an extension tool for lychee growers. Topics covered include scale and mealybug identification, biological predators, scale pests identified during the farm surveys, current pesticide management options, post-harvest management using high pressure sprays and further information links and references.
The toolkit will help lychee growers understand:
- Scale and mealybugs, their identification and life cycle
- The importance of biological predators
- Current chemical management options, chemical labels and improved spray application and timing techniques
- The importance of ant control in managing scale
- Pest scouting practices and commercial options
- Post-harvest management using high pressure spray units.
Recommendations arising from the project include:
- Chemical control strategies for scale and mealybug utilised by other, similar fruit industries can act as a guide as to what the lychee industry could add to their arsenal, via the application for permits and or chemical registration
- Future RD&E may consider quantifying the outcomes of an integrated pest management program incorporating the active release of beneficial insects in conjunction with chemical control requirements.
- The lychee industry should consider supporting regular spray application and calibration training to maintain grower competencies.
A shed poster, summarising the toolkit has also been produced. This will be printed and mailed out to growers to act as an easy reference “best-bet” management source. The accompanying management toolkit will be available for download on the Australian Lychee Growers’ Association website.
The project findings have been comprehensively promoted to industry through several mechanisms including one on one farm visits, presentations at industry meetings, and articles in the industry magazine Living Lychee.
This project was a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Lychee Fund