A group of international and Australian fruit fly specialists, researchers and agronomists will embark on a roadshow to meet with Australian horticulture growers during November and December.
The roadshow, funded, organised and facilitated by Horticulture Innovation Australia (Hort Innovation), aims to assist growers with the management of fruit flies in today’s environment, and build confidence amongst growers in combating fruit flies without the use of cover-sprays (organophosphates).
Special guest from the United States Department of Agriculture in Hawaii, Dr Roger Vargus, will present relevant overseas research in fruit fly and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) at some of the meetings. Dr Vargus has 33 years’ experience in insect ecology, biological control, and IPM. He successfully coordinated the Hawaii Fruit Fly Area-Wide Management (AWM) program that received seven major awards for IPM excellence.
Dr Olivia Reynolds, Senior Research Scientist from the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and Adjunct Senior Lecturer at Charles Sturt University is an expert in AWM and Sterile Insect Technology (SIT), and will present at some of the roadshow locations.
Dan Papacek, Entomologist from Bugs for Bugs, will present on AWM of Qfly and IPM at some of the roadshow locations. Dan has 35 years’ experience working with growers to manage fruit fly in sub- tropical Queensland and is Chairman of the Central Burnett AWM Committee (Fruit Fly Force).
Other presentations will also include the current Hort Innovation program for fruit fly, the SIT plus program, and the AWM program in the eastern states of Australia and Western Australia.
Hort Innovation CEO, Mr John Lloyd said a key focus of each event will be answering growers’ questions and provide an update on the positive work that is being done to control fruit fly. “The roadshow will provide an opportunity for fruit fly researchers to gain insight into the perspectives and needs of growers and hear growers’ feedback on fruit fly management,” Mr Lloyd said. “Growers are our ‘on-the-ground subject matter experts’ and getting their feedback will help shape the direction of fruit fly research in the future.”