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New Zealand Plant Protection 65 (2012): 44-48

Improving the management of mealybugs (Pseudococcidae) in apple orchards

P.L. Lo, J.T.S. Walker, T.M. Fraser and D.W. Manktelow

ABSTRACT

Mealybug infestations in New Zealand apples declined when integrated fruit production was implemented in the late 1990s. In Hawke's Bay, however, mealybugs have recently become an increasing problem. The mean incidence of mealybugs at harvest increased from 1.7% in 2008 to 2.2% in 2010. In 2009 and 2010, almost 50% of blocks had a higher incidence than the previous year. Analysis of spray diaries suggested that spray programmes up to 2009-10 were inadequate to maintain long-term suppression of mealybugs. Key factors were the number of insecticide sprays, their time of application, and the choice of product, but not spray coverage. Consequently, in spring 2010, orchard managers were encouraged to follow a 'best practice' spray programme against mealybugs, which led to markedly improved mealybug control. At harvest in 2011, the mean incidence was 0.7% and just 14% of blocks had more mealybugs than the previous year while almost 60% had fewer.

Keywords: Pseudococcus, mealybug, infestation, buprofezin.

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