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Ongoing project

An integrated systems based approach for pest management in Australian macadamia (MC21000)

Key research provider: Macquarie University

What's it all about?

This investment is establishing a decision-support system to facilitate timely and effective pest management decisions for Australian macadamia growers and other industry stakeholders.

Previous levy-funded work Integrated pest management program for the Australian macadamia industry (various projects from MC16004 to 16008) established a knowledge database of key pests, biocontrol agents, and key priorities for pest management in macadamia. However, pest management options based on precise treatment thresholds and economic injury have not yet been established.

This project is developing a comprehensive, integrated management package that incorporates ecological and environmental dimensions and fits into the regional/local macadamia orchards ecosystem.

The program has three key areas of work:

  1. Delivering ecological studies across the latitudinal range of the industry in Queensland and New South Wales. These studies aim to provide information on occurrence patterns of pests of concern, their biology, and population dynamics, as well as pest interactions with natural enemies and macadamia phenology. Environmental factors affecting the population dynamics of pests and their natural enemies will be identified.

  2. Building on existing pest monitoring protocols and developing decision support systems. This includes the development of a macadamia agro-ecosystem model integrated with economic analyses to consider the efficacy of various integrated pest management strategies, both chemical and biological. It will establish evidence-based damage thresholds, tolerance levels and benchmarks of the return from control measures using the Economic Injury Level (EIL) and Economic Threshold (ET) framework. A risk matrix will also be developed.

  3. Improving our understanding of biological control of macadamia pests. Regional and field studies will identify existing natural enemies of all the pests of concern. The studies will assess the seasonal abundance and diversity of the natural enemies under changing environmental conditions and resource availability.
Related levy funds

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