State News

New tips to protect macadamia production

A new Macadamia Plant Protection Guide 2020-21 is now available to growers and is packed full of valuable lessons gleaned from the challenging drought conditions in 2019-2020.

NSW DPI Macadamia Development Officer, Jeremy Bright said the guide, published by NSW DPI, will assist growers in protecting their orchard from pests and diseases.

“Many experienced macadamia growers considered the 2019 season to be the hardest they have endured,” Mr Bright said.

“Rainfall was significantly lower than average, there was minimal soil moisture available to the plants, and growers faced prolonged high temperatures and strong, hot dry winds.

“This year’s feature article in the guide reviews the effects of these conditions on macadamia orchards and covers strategies to help growers make their farm more resilient to future dry periods.

Another key article, ‘2020 hindsight: plagues, fire, wind and water’, describes how the dry weather dramatically changed the life cycle and habits of common pests, such as fruit spotting bug and pests not seen for some time, including soapberry bugs (Leptocoris).

Mr Bright said the guide provides information on insect pests with illustrations for easy identification and explanations of risk periods and crop damage.

It also covers how to implement and monitor cultural, biological and chemical controls, and broader pest and disease management strategies.

The guide will be distributed to macadamia growers through their processors, NSW DPI and the Australian Macadamia Society.