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De Lima C.P.F.,Irrigated Agriculture and Diversification
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2015

Table grapes are harvested from early November to June in the sub-tropical and temperate zones of Australia for export. In parts of Australia where fruit flies are present they are regarded as critical quarantine pests and require disinfestation. Cold treatments were found to be effective, and within the optimum storage temperatures that preserve table grape quality. Selected temperatures and exposure periods that did not adversely affect fruit quality were subjected to a series of verification trials to satisfy quarantine authorities in Japan. The results proved the success of cold treatments at 1, 2 and 3°C using exposure times of 16, 18 and 20 days to achieve probit 9 level of quarantine security. Source


De Lima C.P.F.,Irrigated Agriculture and Diversification
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2015

Mealybug species such as long-tailed mealybug Pseudococcus longispinus (Targioni-Tozzetti) and citrus mealybug Planococcus citri (Risso) are sometimes present in Australian table grapes and grapefruits at harvest. Quarantine restrictions in some markets require fruit to be fumigated with methyl bromide at or above 21°C before shipment. Problems of phytotoxicity and reduced shelf life make this treatment unattractive. Alternative treatments, fumigation with ethyl formate and carbon dioxide for 2.5 h in export cartons in simulated cool down from 15 to 10°C were found to control mealybugs without damaging the produce. These treatments satisfy "generally regarded as safe" criteria and are suitable for use in grapes and grapefruits produced under organic certification. Source


Macfadyen S.,CSIRO | Hardie D.C.,Irrigated Agriculture and Diversification | Hardie D.C.,University of Western Australia | Fagan L.,University of Western Australia | And 7 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Prophylactic use of broad-spectrum insecticides is a common feature of broad-acre grains production systems around the world. Efforts to reduce pesticide use in these systems have the potential to deliver environmental benefits to large areas of agricultural land. However, research and extension initiatives aimed at decoupling pest management decisions from the simple act of applying a cheap insecticide have languished. This places farmers in a vulnerable position of high reliance on a few products that may lose their efficacy due to pests developing resistance, or be lost from use due to regulatory changes. The first step towards developing Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies involves an increased efficiency of pesticide inputs. Especially challenging is an understanding of when and where an insecticide application can be withheld without risking yield loss. Here, we quantify the effect of different pest management strategies on the abundance of pest and beneficial arthropods, crop damage and yield, across five sites that span the diversity of contexts in which grains crops are grown in southern Australia. Our results show that while greater insecticide use did reduce the abundance of many pests, this was not coupled with higher yields. Feeding damage by arthropod pests was seen in plots with lower insecticide use but this did not translate into yield losses. For canola, we found that plots that used insecticide seed treatments were most likely to deliver a yield benefit; however other insecticides appear to be unnecessary and economically costly. When considering wheat, none of the insecticide inputs provided an economically justifiable yield gain. These results indicate that there are opportunities for Australian grain growers to reduce insecticide inputs without risking yield loss in some seasons. We see this as the critical first step towards developing IPM practices that will be widely adopted across intensive production systems. © 2014 Macfadyen et al. Source


De Lima C.P.F.,Irrigated Agriculture and Diversification
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2015

'Red Globe', 'Thompson Seedless' and 'Crimson Seedless' grapes were picked directly into ventilated polystyrene boxes and chilled for 6-8 h to approximately 20C before being fumigated with 52.6 g m-3 ethyl formate + 21.6% carbon dioxide to treat external pests and stages likely to be found in harvested produce: 1st-3rd instar light brown apple moth and red back spiders; long-tailed mealy bug crawlers; adult two spotted spider mites, plague thrips and western flower thrips. Fumigation was applied for 2.5 h at 21C in a refrigerated shipping container (68 m3) while cooling to 15C. Cooling was continued to 1 and 2C for 16 and 18 days, respectively to simulate control of Mediterranean and Queensland fruit flies. The results show that pests in harvested grapes can be killed and optimum fruit quality maintained in the cool chain. Source

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