South Africa is a known exporter of subtropical fruit (avocado, litchi and mango). The main production areas for subtropical fruit in South Africa are parts of Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal. The avocado and litchi industries are export orientated while the majority of mangoes produced are processed. The main export markets are the European Union and the United Kingdom. Subtropical fruit production is susceptible to various insect pests that significantly contribute to yield losses. Twenty years ago mainly broad spectrum insecticides (organophosphates and pyrethroids) had been registered for control of pests and progress was made in adopting eco-friendlier management approaches. The lowering of maximum residue levels for pesticides on food products by importing countries provide new challenges for growers. Here, details are provided on the important insect pests of subtropical crops and the current management strategies use for controlling these pests. An integrated pest management strategy should aim to use interventions that lower maximum residue levels. A challenge that still remains is the sucking bug complex on avocado and more environmentally friendly strategies used for suppression need to be developed. An effective trapping system to monitor adult sucking bugs coming into the orchards will be important for effective management. Challenges that still remain are the litchi moth, Cryptophlebia peltastica (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) on litchi, and the citrus thrips, Scirtothrips aurantii Faure (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) and the mango seed weevil, Sternochetus mangiferae (Fabricius) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) on mango. The development and testing of mating disruption products, attract and kill products, and biological control products for litchi moth is important. Biological control products also need to be tested against citrus thrips on mango. The mango industry needs to find more environmentally safe suppression methods that can be used with sanitation to manage mango seed weevil as it is a pest of phytosanitary concern. The set of economic thresholds for the important pests also need some attention. The use of botanical pesticides has not yet been tested on a large scale and could possibly contribute to the control of pests in the future.
- Author: Sonia Rios
Dr. Gary Bender, UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Farm Advisor Emeritus, is the lead instructor for a six-week course entitled “Avocado Production for New Growers.” Co-instructor, Sonia Rios, current subtropical Farm Advisor, Riverside/San Diego Counties will also be teaching in the course. The course is designed for new avocado growers, as well as those interested in learning more about avocado production best practices and meeting fellow growers.
The six-week course consists of six, two-hour sessions and will be held in Fallbrook, CA this year. The fee for the course is $105 and includes two avocado books, an IPM book and a post-harvest handbook. Final dates and the location will be announced soon. The always fills up, so please register A.S.A.P.
- Introduction to Agriculture in San Diego County, History of Avocado Production in California
- Botany, Flowering, Varieties, Harvest Dates, Rootstocks
- Irrigation Systems, Irrigation Scheduling, Salinity Management
- Fertilization, Organic Production
- Weed, Insect and Mite Control, Disease Control
- Ag Waiver Water School Training (Dr. Loretta Bates)
- Canopy Management, Tree Spacing, Frost Management
- Field trip to High Density Trial grove and a commercial grove
For more information, contact Erin Thompson at 858.822.7919 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Water woes are probably not going to go away, so readup on how to best manage water at this new blog.
- Author: Rachael Long
Guest post from Rachael Long, UC Cooperative Extension Farm Advisor, Yolo County
The Yolo County Flood Control and Water Conservation District (YCFC) is an agency that supplies water to farmers in northern California. The agency is at the forefront of innovative efforts aimed at banking groundwater by diverting flood waters into their unlined canals. This gives flood waters time to infiltrate soils and recharge groundwater.
Using a water right permit that they recently obtained from California's State Water Resources Control Board, flood waters from recent storms are being captured from Cache Creek as it enters the Sacramento Valley. YCFC recently opened their lateral gates, allowing the flood waters to...
Groundwater wells can fail in many ways. Sometimes the water table sinks below the level of the well. Sometimes minerals cause buildup in well systems. And, sometimes, wells get clogged with lots and lots of microbes.
Microbes can form large, jelly-like mats that lead to well failure from what is known as biofouling. Biofouled wells can be both expensive and technically challenging to repair. There are even times that repair is not possible and replacement is the only option. In Washington State, for example, researchers have encountered well pipes completely clogged by mats of bacteria....
California's Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta region, commonly referred to simply as the Delta, is often described as a unique part of the world. Although it is located between two big urban centers – the greater Sacramento and San Francisco Bay areas – the Delta can feel like another world altogether.
This is something Michelle Leinfelder-Miles, a farm advisor with UC Agriculture and Natural Resources, knows well. She comes from a sixth-generation farming family in San Joaquin County and, after accepting her position several years ago, was happy to return “home”...
The California drought has shined a spotlight on stories of people and communities living without water. Unfortunately, lack of access to clean and affordable water is not a new issue. Water security has been an enduring challenge across the state in wet and dry years alike, particularly for disadvantaged communities. Trying to meet concerns about water availability and affordability with pragmatic action is where things get both complicated and interesting.
One approach that the state has invested a great deal in exploring is known as integrated regional water management. While it is a complex topic, the basic idea is that there are multiple needs for water throughout the...
Street-side stormwater facilities are turning runoff once seen as a nuisance into a resource. Also known as bioretention areas, rain gardens, and bioswales, these small stormwater facilities provide a decentralized approach to alleviating peak stormwater runoff and subsequent flood damages. These are particularly critical functions in cities like San Francisco where the storm and sanitary sewer systems are combined because they help managers to prevent dreaded “combined sewer overflow” events. As a bonus, stormwater facilities have also proved useful in promoting groundwater recharge and filtering pollutants as water percolates through soils.
While street-side facilities are effective in helping to manage...
Some ways to deal with drought
Gary Bender has made his manual on avocado production available on his website. And it's free. Take a look at it to see if you might be missing something in your orchard: