Building capacity in area wide integrated pest management for Qfly in table grapes (TG18001)
What was it all about?
During 2019, this project assisted table grape growers in Sunraysia to understand and adopt field practices to effectively manage the risk of Queensland fruit fly on-farm, to participate in an area wide management program for the pest in the area, and contribute to continued market access through producing clean, marketable fruit and reduce the risk of rejected consignments.
Effective management of Qfly requires multiple tools and strategies, with successful programs using protein bait spraying, male annihilation technique (MAT), hygiene, and monitoring. This project was supported by work done by the Australian Table Grape Association through the project Area wide integrated pest management support for Qfly in table grapes (TG18002).
Workshops and field days
A series of 13 workshops and field days were held for table grape growers, agronomists, pest scouts and consultants between December 2018 and May 2019. Most of the growers attending were registered for export.
The workshops focused on Qfly biology and included hands-on demonstrations for identification, baiting and trapping. The field days were held in collaboration with the Greater Sunraysia Pest Free Area and were open to all fruit growers. Citrus and stone fruit growers brought experience to the field days that was beneficial to the attending table grape growers.
An information package for all attendees included information about Qfly biology and area wide management; a yellow plastic trap and an ‘FT Mallet CL’ (male pheromone lure) to prompt growers to start trapping/baiting; and a magnifying lens that clips to a mobile phone to help with Qfly identification.
Following evaluation and feedback from workshop attendees, the project team proposed several recommendations for future investment into Qfly management:
- Recognise the role scouts and agronomists play in implementing area wide management
- Work with equipment dealers that design and assemble bait sprayers to review droplet size recommendations for spray baits, so size is optimised for spray retention on leaf surfaces
- Harmonise protocols so that growers can comply with Qfly requirements for export, ICA-20 and area-wide management
- Identify where the intervals between cover sprays for other insect pests extend too long to provide crop protection against Qfly
- Make DPI trap data more readily available
- Build an autonomous (robot) bait sprayer
- Provide updated lists of which chemicals can be added to bait and/or used as cover sprays and their relative costs in a Qfly program, including Australian and export MRLs.
- Clarify which traps have equivalent purpose or mode of action and which traps have different purpose or mode of action.
- Help growers compare the economics of baiting and cover spraying.
Read an article about the project, Table grape growers using inventiveness to fight fruit fly, published in April 2019 on the Australian Table Grape Association’s website.
This project was a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Table Grape Fund