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

 

Hawke’s Bay Community Engaged In Codling Moth Research To Protect New Zealand Apples

Growing the world’s best apples is a team effort. Plant & Food Research has engaged households in Hawke’s Bay, the heart of New Zealand’s apple industry, in studies that will help create smarter and more sustainable ways to protect the prized fruit and those whose livelihoods depend on it.

New Zealand is the only country which can export apples to some of the world’s most exclusive and premium markets such as Japan. To maintain the status, our apple exports must be free of pests like codling moths as well as contain low chemical residues. Thanks to decades of innovation and integrated pest management practice, the codling moth population on-orchard is largely under control, but the industry is not necessarily out of the woods.

Plant & Food Research scientists and their research partners at the University of Auckland have obtained permission from households in Hastings City, a peri-urban (semi-rural) area close to commercial apple orchards, to install 200 pheromone traps on residential properties. Some of these households have apple and walnut trees in their gardens – both common host trees of codling moths. These traps have captured twice as many moths per week compared to traps on commercial export orchards, and codling moths were caught in all the traps placed on host trees.

“Home gardeners unknowingly harbour codling moths on their apple and walnut trees because many of them don’t have access to a codling moth management regime,” says Professor Max Suckling, member of the research team. “These unmanaged host trees pose a threat because adult codling moths could fly several kilometres and potentially infest commercial orchards. It shows that the community needs to be an integral part of an area-wide pest eradication programme.”

In a related study, researchers have surveyed 86 households in Hastings in person on their perception of suppressing codling moth using the sterile insect technique (SIT), which releases sterilised codling moths to mate with their wild counterparts to break the reproduction cycle.

They found that upon explanation and clarification, an overwhelming 98% of respondents are supportive of the use of SIT for codling moths, or for exotic fruit flies should they be found in the area. They were also in favour of the dispersal of these sterilised insects using unmanned aerial vehicles such as drones. Almost all respondents welcomed researchers setting up pheromone traps on their properties and conducting regular visits to collect data.

“Historically, the peri-urban community has not been well informed about orchard activities like spraying, which has created an aversion to the use of insecticide sprays. These studies show that local residents could rally behind the use of novel, chemical-free biocontrol methods as long as they are involved in the consultation process and their concerns such as camera use and the impact on their family’s health are addressed,” Professor Suckling says.

He adds that to achieve area-wide eradication of codling moths and other exotic pests, options include widening the scope of SIT to cover peri-urban areas, an integration of SIT with classical biocontrol agent and the removal of host trees near orchards. Community engagement is crucial to guide practitioners in determining suitable technologies that are beneficial to growers and acceptable to the locals.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

The Narrow Divide: New Poll Shows Tight Political Race For SME Votes

In a major turnaround following nearly a decade of MYOB election polls, Labour is currently the preferred political party of New Zealand’s SMEs, with 38% of SME owners and decision makers intending to vote red in the upcoming General Election, ... More>>

Reserve Bank: Further Easing In Monetary Policy Delivered

Tēnā koutou katoa, welcome all. The Monetary Policy Committee agreed to expand the Large Scale Asset Purchase (LSAP) programme up to $100 billion so as to further lower retail interest rates in order to achieve its remit. The eligible assets remain ... More>>

Retail: Post-Lockdown Retail Card Spending Picks Up

The rise in retail card spending was boosted by sales of furniture, hardware, and appliances, Stats NZ said today. “For a third consecutive month, card spending on the long-lasting goods (durables) remained at higher levels than last year, after ... More>>


Contact: Business Drops, New Generation On Hold

New Zealand’s second-largest energy company Contact Energy (‘Contact’) released its full year financial results for the 12 months to 30 June 2020 (‘FY20’) this morning. More>>

Mining: OceanaGold Announces Receipt Of WKP Mining Permit

MELBOURNE, Australia, Aug. 6, 2020 /CNW/ - OceanaGold Corporation (TSX: OGC) (ASX: OGC) (the 'Company') is pleased to announce it has received the mining permit for Wharekirauponga ('WKP') on the North Island of New Zealand. ... More>>

ALSO:

Economy: COVID-19 Lockdown Has Widespread Effects On Labour Market

In the June 2020 quarter, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.0 percent, down from 4.2 percent last quarter, while underutilisation rose, Stats NZ said today. More>>

ALSO:

NZ Post: New Research By NZ Post Shows Online Shopping Grew 105% In Alert Level 3

New research by NZ Post into how the COVID-19 response has impacted the way Kiwis shop online, shows online shopping increased 105%* when the country moved into Alert Level 3, and may have changed the way Kiwis shop permanently. Online spend peaked ... More>>

ALSO:

Antarctica NZ: Ice-Olation

Antarctica New Zealand is gearing up for a much reduced season on the ice this year and a very different deployment to normal! Before they head to one of the remotest places on the planet, all personnel flying south with the New Zealand programme will ... More>>

ALSO:

QV Valuations: July House Price Index Illustrates Market Resilience

According to the July 2020 QV House Price Index (HPI) results out today , property values recorded a marginal increase, up 0.2% over the month. This is somewhat of a turnaround from June, after the national index edged 0.2% lower. More>>

ALSO:

Property: Queenstown Rents Experience Biggest Drop In Seven Years

Rental prices in the Queenstown-Lakes district saw the biggest annual percentage drop in seven years after falling 28 per cent on June last year, according to the latest Trade Me Rental Price Index. Trade Me Property spokesperson Aaron Clancy said ... More>>

Seismology: The Quiet Earth

As many daily activities came to a halt during lockdown, the Earth itself became quiet, probably quieter than it has been since humans developed the technology to listen in. Seismologists have analysed datasets from more than 300 international ... More>>

RNZ: James Shaw Says Kiwibank, Not Ministers Should Decide On Investors

Climate Change Minister James Shaw says Kiwibank's decision to stop doing business with companies dealing in fossil fuels is the right one. More>>

ALSO:

FMA: Kiwis Confident Financial Markets Will Recover From COVID-19, Plan To Increase Investments

Despite the majority (60%) of investors experiencing losses as a result of COVID-19, the outlook on investing remains positive, according to a Financial Markets Authority (FMA) survey. Most Kiwis (71%) were optimistic that the pandemic will pass eventually ... More>>

FIRST Union: Warehouse Using Covid For Cover As Extensive Restructure Makes Everyone Worse Off

(FIRST Union comments on The Warehouse consultation and proposed restructure) 'Unfortunately the Warehouse have done the disappointing thing and used Covid-19 to justify a bunch of operational business decisions that will leave hundreds of workers without jobs ... More>>

ALSO: