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New Zealand Plant Protection 67 (2014): 292-297

Development of a concentrated oil spray programme on avocados to control insect and mite pests

R.E. Gaskin and H.A. Pak

ABSTRACT

Best practice guidelines have been developed in recent years for application of low volume, concentrated pesticide sprays to avocado orchards. Oil sprays, an important component of spray programmes on avocado orchards, have been excluded from the concentrate programme because of the risk of damage to the crop. Two unreplicated trials were undertaken on commercial orchards, one each in Northland and Bay of Plenty, from December 2012-December 2013. Each plot consisted of a single orchard block (ca 1 ha) per treatment. Dilute (0.5% oil) high volume sprays (up to 3000 litres/ha) were compared with concentrated (1.5% oil) low-volume sprays (up to 1000 litres/ha) containing a horticultural superspreader adjuvant. Monitored pest populations were comparable in both treatments throughout the year with no detrimental impacts of concentrate oil sprays on either export packout rates or storage quality of fruit after harvest. Safe use of concentrate oil sprays on avocados is practical using a horticultural superspreader adjuvant.

Keywords: spray oils, dilute sprays, concentrate sprays, superspreader adjuvant, six-spotted mite, greenhouse thrips, scale insects, leaf rollers.

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