"I once used a biological product to control Tuta absoluta (tomato leaf miner) in my own tomato crop. Unfortunately, the manufacturer ceased production of the product. But because I was using my crop solely for breeding purposes, I decided to stop spraying for the pest," shares Bill Kerr, vegetable specialist and breeder of a range of vegetables. With an article on Farmersweekly he encourages South African farmers to start growing integrated.
"Last year, the plants suffered a fair amount of damage; this year, there was much less. I planted my first tunnel as soon as the frost was past and the final tunnel started maturing in March. There is very little damage to these tomatoes, despite the fact that I have never sprayed them or used traps.
"I planted a quarter of the tunnel to a cherry tomato variety much later than the rest of the crop. This is just starting to set fruit, whereas the rest have been ripe for some time; yet there is no sign of the pest or larvae on this batch.