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New Zealand growers learn about biosecurity

Fresh tomato and indoor vegetable growers and industry people were invited to two workshops during March, in Clevedon and Lincoln, New Zealand, to discuss recent biocontrol research and new pest control ideas, with a particular focus on covered crops.

At the well-attended workshops, growers were asked to discuss the challenges they face in managing tomato-potato psyllid (TPP) and other greenhouse pests, and scientists presented recent research on the new TPP biocontrol agent Tamarixia triozae and other biocontrols. There was discussion on what future work is needed to support non-agrichemical pest management in the greenhouse.

Presentations were provided by:

  • Dr Shola Olaniyan, Bio-Protection Research Centre, Lincoln University
  • Professor Steve Wratten, Bio-Protection Research Centre, Lincoln University
  • Dr Melanie Davidson, Plant & Food Research (PFR)
  • Dr Sally Anderson, Vegetable Research and Innovation Board (VR&I)

Professor Wratten opened the workshops talking about pests and control methods, including soft options (such as soap), chemicals and biocontrols. Dr Olaniyan presented research they had worked on for the past one and half years along with what’s planned next, saying “growers are some of the best scientists”. 

Glasshouse biocontrols research at the Bio-Protection Centre includes trials on Merlice tomato plants using the “natural enemies” Engytatus, Limonicus, Cleobora and Tamarixia, in combination with buckwheat as a source of food and shelter for the biocontrol agents. From this work they produced a brochure titled “Biological control of the tomato-potato psyllid in New Zealand glasshouses”. Copies are available by contacting TomatoesNZ or through the Bio-Protection Research Centre.

Future work could include: looking at the effectiveness of Cleobora on other tomato cultivars and capsicum; combining Tamarixia with other known natural enemies of TPP; researching Engytatus interactions; and looking at other natural enemies of TPP within New Zealand.

Read more at TomatoesNZ


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