Pineapple integrated crop protection program (PI17001)
What’s it all about?
Contracted at the end of 2018, this investment will bring information on integrated crop protection to Australian pineapple growers, to help the industry achieve higher yields and produce high-quality fruit with lower production costs and a reduction in the use of pesticides. It will also facilitate information exchange with and between growers, pineapple industry advisers, chemical company representatives and the broader supply chain.
Activities are set to include integrated crop protection workshops; updating of the industry’s best practice manual; production of materials including videos and fact sheets; the use of on-farm demonstration sites; and research into pineapple plant nutrition and pest and disease management.
The project will also deliver the quarterly industry Pineapple Press e-newsletter, a website and annual industry field days.
The project team have reported progress in the following areas:
- Two copies of the Pineapple Press were distributed to industry in February and May 2022 and the grower section of the pineapple industry website was updated with study group minutes, accompanying presentations, links to the Pineapple Press, demonstration trial handouts and details of upcoming industry events.
- The SEQ study group was held on 10 December in the Glasshouse Mountains. A second study group was organised for SEQ on 29 April, but due to the low number of growers being able to make it, this was postponed and will be held at a later date that better suits growers. The NQ study group was held on 1 April in Rollingstone, and this study group also involved a study tour on 31 March around the Burdekin region. One study group workshop was held as a combined CQ/WB event in Mungar on 27 May 2022.
- Assessments of the demonstration trials continue, which address five different areas, namely (1) site selection and drainage, (2) ground preparation, fallow management, and bed formation, (3) pre-and post-plant nutrition management, (4) integrated pest and disease management, and (5) management of erosion and sedimentation.
- The annual update of pineapple production data and crop forecast for the 2021 and 2022 calendar years, respectively, has nearly been completed. A summary of the data by region will be reported to industry upon completion.
- The video ‘Planting pineapples correctly,’ has been completed. It has been developed as a training aid for growers and is designed to complement the planter sticker that was developed for industry previously.
Since the team’s last update, progress has been achieved with the following activities:
- Two editions of Pineapple Press electronic newsletter were produced and distributed to members on 10 February and 5 May 2021.
- The grower section of the Australian Pineapples website was updated with study group minutes, accompanying presentations, copies of Pineapple Press, and upcoming event details.
- Three study group workshops were held with growers from all four regions. The combined South East Queensland / Wide Bay group meeting was held at the Brisbane Produce Markets and Golden Circle, the North Queensland group visited Pinata farm in Mareeba and an exotic fruit farm at Cape Tribulation, and the Central Queensland session was held at two pineapple farms at Bungundarra (near Yeppoon) with a focus on new reef regulations and compliance requirements.
- One demonstration trial (screening potential new weedicides) was completed with the remining 16 still underway.
- A sticker was developed for use on pineapple planters as a staff training aid. It will be distributed at the annual industry field day and supplement an up-coming video which addresses best practice for planting operation.
- Annual updates of the 2020 pineapple production data and 2021 crop forecast was completed. A summary of the data by region will be reported to industry in due course.
Visit the member area of the Australian Pineapples website for more information.
The project team have made progress in the following areas.
Seventeen demonstration trial sites have been secured and established, covering each of the five research topics namely:
- Site selection and drainage
- Ground preparation, fallow management, and bed formation
- Pre- and post-plant nutrition management
- Integrated pest and disease management
- Management of erosion and sedimentation.
Of these seventeen, one trial to screen some potential new weedicides has been completed. Outcomes from the trial indicated one of the new herbicides proved effective at the highest rate as a pre-plant treatment, however it was found to be phytotoxic when applied as a post-plant spray three months after planting and was not effective as a post emergence herbicide. The new chemistry is a suitable alternative for Hyvar as a pre-plant application. This information will be passed on to the relevant entities for further investigation.
Three grower workshops were well attended, held in North Queensland, Central Queensland and Wide Bay regions.
An educational video on how to minimise bruising through correct fruit handling during harvest operation has been produced and will be finalised shortly. Once released it will be uploaded to the Queensland Agriculture YouTube channel and the link sent to all growers and made available via the Australian Pineapples website.
Two copies of the ‘Pineapple Press’ newsletter were produced and distributed by Growcom to industry in August and November 2019, including updates on this project.
The Pineapple Industry Field Day was held in July 2019, and an updated estimate of pineapple production for the 2019 calendar year was completed.
The 2020 Pineapple Industry Field Day was officially cancelled due to COVID-19. Planning has commenced for the event to take place next year in the Bundaberg region on 8-9 July 2021.
You can stay up to date via registering or logging into the industry section of the Australian Pineapples website, where information and materials will be shared regularly. Alternatively, you can read the industry’s Pineapple Press newsletter to learn more:
This project is a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Pineapple Fund.