Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


New insect to patrol apple orchards

Media Release

New insect to patrol apple orchards

Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. 1 November 2012...New Zealand pipfruit growers are enhancing their management options for one of the key pests for the pipfruit industry – the codling moth – with the release of a new biocontrol agent.

Plant & Food Research scientists, with support from Pipfruit New Zealand, have been investigating the potential for Mastrus ridens, a small parasitoid wasp, to control the codling moth, one of the major pests affecting the New Zealand pipfruit industry. Following EPA approval, field appraisal will take place over the next few years to measure the effectiveness of the wasp as a long term biological control agent. The first release in commercial orchards, of 1,000 individuals, has been/will be made in Hawke’s Bay today/this week.

“Codling moth is a major issue for the pipfruit industry, with control of the pest costing between $8 and $12 million each year,” says Mike Butcher, Technical Manager of Pipfruit New Zealand. “Whilst the presence of a single moth in a shipment can impact on market access for all New Zealand apple exports to codling moth sensitive markets, the industry is also focused on reducing the use of chemical pesticides. This ultimately means we must find new ways to control pests, and the introduction of the Mastrus wasp as a biological control agent is an important new component to our system that currently includes mating disruption, a codling moth specific virus and selective chemistry. This release is an important step in meeting quarantine requirements for our premium markets.”

The Mastrus female attacks the cocoons of codling moths, laying its eggs on the moth larvae. When the wasp larvae hatch, they feed on, and eventually kill, the codling moth larva. They then emerge as adult wasps to disperse and seek new codling moth larvae on which to lay their eggs.

“Biological control agents, such as parasitoid wasps, play an increasingly important role in controlling pests as chemical interventions are reduced,” says scientist John Charles from Plant & Food Research. “This species, which originated in Kazakhstan, has been established in other countries, particularly in the USA, for control of codling moth, and these initial releases in New Zealand will help us to determine how well they survive in our environment and control the pest.”

The Mastrus wasp was approved for release by the Environmental Protection Agency in June, and thousands have since been reared in captivity.

A video showing the female Mastrus wasp laying her eggs can be found at http://plantandfood.us5.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1b46d14e528ad30bae8b3663c&id=4098e51aff&e=5b367992d8.
ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Balance Of Trade: NZ Posts Trade Deficit In October On Falling Dairy Exports

New Zealand’s posted its largest monthly trade deficit for October in six years, while narrowing the shortfall from September, led by a fall in dairy exports to China while all main imports into the country rose. More>>

ALSO:

Gigatown Winner: Plenty Of Positives For Dunedin

Although the city has taken the Gigatown title, along with new ultrafast 1Gbps broadband and funding for $700,000 worth of UFB-related initiatives across the community, Mr Cull says Dunedin has gained so much more through its involvement. More>>

ALSO:

R18: The Warehouse Group Praised For Removing Games

The decision by New Zealand’s largest retailer The Warehouse Group (TW Group), to withdraw stocks of the latest version of Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V) and other R18 games, has been praised by advocacy group Stop Demand Foundation. More>>

ALSO:

Air NZ Wine Awards: Victory For Villa Maria As Pinot Noir Thrills

It was a night to remember as Villa Maria Estate picked up one of the highest accolades of the evening, the O-I New Zealand Reserve Wine of the Show Trophy, at the 28th Air New Zealand Wine Awards. The Villa Maria Single Vineyard Southern Clays Marlborough ... More>>

ALSO:

Future Brighter Money: RBNZ Releases New Bank Note Designs

New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news