The following section contains information and resources designed to assist you with growing best practice.
Citrus Australia agrichemical manager, Alison MacGregor, shares how to find a happy medium for effective spraying in this article first published in the Australian Citrus News, summer 2019/20 edition. Finding a happy medium for effective spraying.
Emergency Use Permits achieved for two new fungicides
Citrus Australia has recently achieved Emergency Use Permits for two new fungicides.
These two products will significantly help Queensland citrus growers to improve the quality of their crops, but they must be used with care to prevent disease resistance and to comply with agrichemical residue restrictions on domestic and export markets.
This report by Queensland DEEDI explains how and when these fungicides should be used, and the compliance precautions that should be taken by the entire value chain.
Australian Citrus Quality Standards
Visit the Citrus Quality and Maturity webpage for all information on the Australian Citrus Quality Standards including the new easy-to-use calculator which will enable you to automatically calculate your fruits’ maturity.
Crop Regulation Calendar
This management calendar and checklist details key crop manipulation practices for a more balanced crop. It includes an assessment of your growth stage according to the seasons. Getting it right means more money in your pocket!
NSW DPI Fullers Rose Weevil Management presentations The following are YouTube video links of the presentation developed by the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries on the management of Fullers Rose Weevil.
Maintaining high health status of budwood and seed
Citrus are susceptible to a number of serious graft transmissable diseases, which can be symptomless in some rootstock combinations but debilitating when infected. Infection of nursery trees with some viruses can cause considerable yield reductions, necessitating removal of the infected trees and replanting. In many cases a small number of infected trees in an orchard will result in widespread infection as the disease is spread through normal pruning and cultural operations.
Auscitrus budwood source trees are subjected to regular testing to ensure freedom from exocortis, psorosis and other graft transmissible pathogens. Grapefruit varieties are immunised with a mild protective strain of tristeza to protect against stem pitting. Strict hygiene procedures are adhered to in tree management, cutting of budwood and extraction of seed.
Fruit flies are amongst the world’s worst pests of fruit, and there are over 80 species known here in Australia. Feeding by fruit fly larvae damages the fruit internally, causing it to ripen prematurely and rot. Up to 100% of fruit may be damaged by fruit fly when infestations are uncontrolled. The presence of fruit fly can also result in the loss of valuable interstate and export markets.
Area Freedom: Fruit Fly Exclusion Zone
The Fruit Fly Exclusion Zone (FFEZ) encloses valuable horticultural areas of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, into which it is illegal to carry fresh fruit without a permit. There is a risk that the fruit may contain hidden fruit fly eggs or maggots. The majority of fruit fly outbreaks are associated with travellers bringing infested fruit into the Fruit Fly Exclusion Zone.
It is vital to keep the FFEZ ‘fruit fly free’. The value of horticultural products within the FFEZ is estimated at $500 million per year. Fruit fly outbreaks cost Australian fruit growers up to $100 million each year in lost income and eradication.
Just one piece of infested fruit brought into a horticultural area within the Fruit Fly Exclusion Zone can cause this hardship.
World’s Worst Fruit Pest
Queensland fruit flies are wasp-like in appearance and are about 7mm long; reddish brown with distinct yellow oval markings.
Mediterranean fruit flies are about 6mm long with black and white markings on the thorax. The wings have characteristic yellowish-brown bands and spots.
Fruit flies can lay eggs in all types of maturing or ripe fruit, such as stone fruit, citrus, loquats and quinces, as well as some vegetables, including tomatoes, capsicums and avocados.
Tiny creamy-white larvae (maggots) hatch from the eggs and burrow through the fruit as they feed. Infested fruit can look perfectly good on the outside but is mushy and brown on the inside.
Fallen fruit generally contains fruit fly larvae which burrow into the ground where they develop into pupae. They emerge from the ground as adult fruit flies.
There can be five or more generations of fruit fly in a single growing season.
Being caught taking fresh fruit into the Fruit Fly Exclusion Zone could cost you a minimum $200 on-the-spot fine. Random mobile roadblocks operate on highways within borders of the Fruit Fly Exclusion Zone. Fresh fruit, and vegetables such as tomatoes, capsicum and avocados are prohibited entry into the zone without a permit. Motorists ignoring roadside warning signs and are caught carrying fresh fruit face fines ranging from $200 to $20,000. Obey roadside signs and dispose of fruit before entering the zone.
Advice for FFEZ Residents
Residents can help to keep fruit fly out of the horticultural areas within the zone by telling visitors or seasonal workers not to bring fresh fruit with them. If fruit is brought in, it should be destroyed immediately by placing it in a thick plastic bag, tying the top and leaving it in the sun for a few days before disposing of it with normal garbage. This will destroy any fruit fly eggs or maggots in the fruit that may not be visible to the naked eye.
Residents can reduce the risk of fruit fly becoming established in the horticultural areas within the zone by properly maintaining domestic fruit trees. Fruit should be picked when ripe, preferably daily. Unwanted fruit on the tree or on the ground should be collected daily and destroyed.
Further Information on Managing Fruit Fly
For further information about fruit fly, contact State plant quarantine authorities on freecall: 1800 084 881, during business hours Monday to Friday.
The resources and information listed has been sourced through government departments, statutory boards and grower organisations. Some of the information that appears in this section are the results or outcomes of national citrus levy funded projects, these projects are facilitated by Horticulture Innovation Australia (HIA) in partnership with Citrus Australia and have been funded by either the national citrus research and development (R&D) or marketing levies. A number of projects have also been funded through the voluntary contribution (VC) scheme. The Australian Government provides matched funding for all HIA’s R&D activities.