By Matthew Addison
PSHB is a top priority at Hortgro, and with respect to the progress made on the PSHB programme the following points are relevant:
- The PSHB workgroup met, and several priorities were listed. The proposed research group has not met to date but the various participants have been consulted.
- Two PSHB field days were held on Lourensford. The events were well attended and 109 people registered. The field days allowed people firsthand experience of the insect and to catch up on management methods.
- Prof Francois Roets is currently in California attending an international symposium on PSHB. I will circulate a report on the symposium once he is back.
- Various protocols for the identification and management of PSHB have been written and distributed. Articles have been published in the Fresh Quarterly. In addition, PSHB is regularly reported on in the monthly IPM meetings.
- Hortgro is developing a PSHB-specific website. The site would include all relevant information regarding the management of the insect. In addition, monitoring data would be presented on the website. This should allow the industry to remain informed and up-to-date. Integration of the PSHB monitoring program into the industry-funded database project is underway. This will allow for the efficient collection and processing of monitoring data. The results would then be presented on a real-time basis on digitized maps.
- The legislative status of PSHB was raised during the national PSHB steering committee meeting held in September. This raised a wide range of correspondence from various national government departments. The net result was that the classification of the pest is pending. Classification of the pest will allow provincial government structures to react as well as various national structures.
- The Western Cape government has responded to the threat posed by PSHB. Various meetings have been held between industry and officials. A delegation from the Western Cape Department of Agriculture travelled to California recently and PSHB was discussed. PSHB is one of the three key issues facing the industry and was as such mentioned by Mariette Kotzé at the Western Cape Cabinet meets Agri event held at Cape Nampo, Bredasdorp in September. Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde, as well as the whole cabinet, were in attendance and took part in the forum discussion and acknowledged PSHB as a considerable threat.
- An order has been placed with Crop Watch to supply a total of 300 PSHB traps and the needed pheromone lures. The traps will be deployed in the major production areas and Fruit Fly Africa will assist with servicing the traps. Hortgro will service some of the traps and will be responsible for processing and identifying the trapped insects. The pheromone lures are due to arrive from Canada shortly. The monitoring grid can be expanded once we have monitoring data in hand. Training of orchard monitors has taken place and more training sessions are envisioned.
- Field trials and access to suitable fruit orchards should be finalized by the end of October. It is planned that a variety of treatments will be applied in the orchard. Trees will be independently monitored, and the results will be published.
- Two industry-funded projects on PSHB were approved in October. The projects will commence in January.
- Hortgro Science has budgeted for area-wide monitoring of PSHB which will commence as soon as the lure can be procured. Hortgro management discussed the potential to make additional funding available should the current capacity not be able to cope with monitoring and identification of caught insects.
Download additional useful material:
- PSHB_confirm_ID_submit sample
- Video presentation by Dr Francois Roets, US.