A recent auction in South Africa was selling 'Maluma' variety of avocado for $92 a tree. That is more than the average price of avocado nursery trees in that country and a lot more than what is paid in California or Florida. That variety has suddenly gotten a huge demand because of its sales characteristics accounting for 13% of the tree sales from one nursery there.
This is a phenomenon that is going on world-wide not just for 'Maluma'. According to a CA nursery producer, the 'Maluma' sale is really a reflection of the world-wide demand for avocado trees and not necessarily this South African variety. Avocado acreage is expanding world-wide. So far 'Maluma' has a US import license, but has not been grown in CA, so we don't know its performance characteristics. That should change soon according to the nurseryman.
Related story: South Africa: Maluma Day to challenge avocado sector's “convenient position”:
Topics in Subtropics
January - March Topics in Subtropics 2017
In this issue:
- Revisiting an old study on high density citrus orchards
- Shoot and Twig Dieback in Citrus
- Alternative Crops or ......
- Referendum Comments Citrus Research Board
Here's the Fall newsletter of Topics in Subtropics, and it is on time. Winter hasn't started yet, but get ready.
And the topics are:
- Real-Time Sensor for Early Detection of Citrus Huanglongbing (HLB)
- The 2016 International Citrus Conference
- UC Riverside Scientists Evaluate Trunk Injections of Pesticides for The Management of Ambrosia Beetles in California Avocados
- An Overview of Mango
- Water Based Latex Paint as a Means to Track Ambrosia Beetle Activity on Infested Trees
On a recent trip, we saw Diaprepes Root Weevil damage on avocado. It was feeding on the leaves, tattering them. The problem with this pest is that it also feeds on the roots, weakening the tree and opening it up to disease, such as Phytophthora. This adult beast about measures about ¾ inch long and the larvae are bigger, about an inch long. They are hard to kill when they are in the ground. They have a host range of 270 plant species including citrus, strawberry, papaya and lots of vegetables species. It's already found in parts of LA, Orange and San Diego Counties. If you see it, call the local Ag Commissioner. https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/Plant/pdep/target_pest_disease_profiles/Diaprepes_PestProfile.html
Treatment options are listed in the IPM Guidelines
You don't want this in your orchard.
Diaprepes feeding on avocado (Tim Spann)
Damage to citrus root system.
At a recent conference in Florida, University of Florida entomologist Daniel Carrillo reported some very disturbing news. There is a fungus/pest complex in Florida avocado and related native laurel species that is similar to a complex found in the California - Shot Hole Borer/Fusarium fungus complex. There it is called Laurel Wilt Disease and is a complex of the ambrosia beetle Xyleborus and the fungus Rafaelea lauricola. It is a fungus/insect complex that causes death in avocado and the relatives of avocado trees. The California complex can cause the death of many tree species, such as sycamore, coast live oak and willow, as well as the decline of avocado. The complex and disease are called Fusarium Dieback here, caused by Euwallacea ambrosia beetle and Fusarium fungus.
What Carrillo and other colleagues have found is that there are similar species to their introduced Rafaelea species of ambrosia beetle that are now attacking live avocado trees. These so-called cryptic species are members of a group of beetles that normally do not attack live trees. These beetles are typically some of the first group of decomposers that go after dead trees. These newly identified insects are morphologically very similar to the original beetle, but are native members of the Florida environment. They too are now attacking live trees. There are now ten potential species of ambrosia beetle that can introduce pathogenic fungi.
To exacerbate the situation, there are other fungi now that have been associated with these beetles that may be similarly as pathogenic as the original fungus. These fungi are genetically distinct from the species causing damage in California. However, this ability of different fungi to adapt to a new invasive beetle species and the ability of other beetle species to pick up the pathogenic fungal species is a scenario that might appear in California.
As the world becomes smaller and more living materials are moved around and they mix, this may be the new reality we are facing.
To read more about the Florida findings check out the article: