Hortgro proaktief oor stompkopkewer

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Hortgro is in die pylvak om befondsing te kry vir ‘n navorsingsprojek wat gaan kyk na die vermoë van die swam wat deur die stompkopkewer gedra word, om sagtevrugtebome asook algemene windbreekboomspesies te infekteer.

Die stompkopkewer (Polyphagous shot hole borer/PSHB)  met sy dodelike swam (Fusarium euwallaceae) het reeds wyd verwoesting gesaai onder bome in Gauteng en is vroeër vanjaar in die Wes-Kaap waargeneem. ‘n Chemiese middel, wat blyk effektief te wees teen die kewer,  is onlangs deur Pan African Farms geregistreer, maar kenners het gemaan dat objektiewe, onafhanklike navorsing  nodig is, voordat dit as ‘n oplossing beskou kan word.

Hortgro is die afgelope paar maande deur bekommerde produsente genader oor die stompkopkewer wat onder andere in Somerset-Wes amok gemaak het. Hoewel daar tans, sover kennis strek, geen teken van die kewer in sagtevrugteboorde is nie, maak die nabye teenwoordigheid van die kewer, produsente ongemaklik.

Matthew Addison, oesbeskermingsbestuurder van Hortgro Science, die sagtevrugtebedryf se navorsingseenheid, beskou die investering in ‘n ernstige lig. “Die realiteit is dat daar ‘n klomp vrae is en ons het nie die antwoorde nie, derhalwe is soliede navorsing nodig.”

Volgens Addison is daar ‘n risiko vir die sagtevrugtebedryf gekoppel aan die kewer se verspreiding. “Die navorsing wat ons gaan doen, word op ‘n nasionale vlak gekoordineer tussen provinsies, met verskillende universiteite, asook die regering.”

Lees meer oor die kewer en sy fungus hier: pshb-iw-hf-final-26-junebe

 

English: Hortgro proactive about PSHB

Hortgro is in the final stages of securing funding for a new research project that will look at the ability of the fungus carried by the polyphagous shot hole borer beetle to infect deciduous fruit trees as well as common windbreak tree species.

The polyphagous shot hole borer (PSHB) with its deadly fungus (Fusarium euwallaceae) has already created widespread havoc among trees in Gauteng and was observed in the Western Cape earlier this year. A chemical, which proved to be effective against the beetle, was recently registered by Pan African Farms, but experts warned that objective, independent research is needed before it can be considered a solution.

Over the past few months, Hortgro has been approached by concerned producers about the infection risks associated with the PSHB, following the discovery of the beetle in Somerset West. Although there is currently no sign of the beetle in deciduous fruit orchards, the close presence of the beetle makes producers uncomfortable.

Matthew Addison, crop protection manager at Hortgro Science, the deciduous fruit industry’s research unit, sees the infection risk in a serious light. “The reality is that there are a lot of questions and we don’t have the answers; that alone necessitates research.”

Addison says there is a risk for the deciduous fruit industry linked to the beetle’s distribution. “The research we are going to do will be coordinated at a national level between provinces, with different universities, as well as the government.”

Read more about the beetle and its fungus here: pshb-iw-hf-final-26-junebe

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