Home Australia Boosting beneficial insects, biodiversity key to controlling ‘baddies’ attacking macadamias

Boosting beneficial insects, biodiversity key to controlling ‘baddies’ attacking macadamias

Boosting beneficial insects, biodiversity key to controlling ‘baddies’ attacking macadamias

Be taught into better maintaining macadamia orchards from pests, due to this truth lifting manufacturing, profitability, and minimising utilizing chemical sprays, is starting to undergo fruit.

Key aspects:

  • NSW DPI be taught reveals monitoring and timing is required to stop pest damage
  • The distinction between the fruitspotting and Leptocoris spp. bug damage has been identified
  • A regenerative farmer within the program uses parasitic wasps and cowl vegetation to minimise insect damage

For the past 5 years the Macadamia Constructed-in Pest Management (IPM) program has examined combos of biological, cultural, and chemical controls in on-farm trials in Contemporary South Wales and Queensland orchards.

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NSW Department of Fundamental Industries entomologist Dr Ruth Huwer stated it has stumbled on a suite of tools wants to be dilapidated on-farm to aid watch over pests.

“Monitoring is the finest tool that we need to stare upon in IPM, we need to know what pests are round and after they’re round. Timing is required,” she stated.

“Additionally, gorgeous coverage is required and that is the explanation where cultural aid watch over is within the market in, opening up your cowl and also rising your biodiversity with varied inter-rows.

“We elect to decrease the input of wide-spectrum insecticide. But no longer asserting that they can’t be dilapidated at all, they’re factual meant to be a remaining resort.”

Entomologist Ruth Huwer working in her laboratory.

Entomologist Dr Ruth Huwer working in her laboratory on the Wollongbar Fundamental Industries Institute in northern Contemporary South Wales.(

Supplied: NSW DPI


Researchers are one three hundred and sixty five days into a runt-scale trial on inter-row cropping on the Centre for Tropical Horticulture at Alstonville, planting native shrubs and flowering vegetation to boost the desire of natural enemies.

Dr Huwer stated it used to be too early to diagram any conclusions from the yield knowledge purchased. 

The centre is also working one other trial comparing IPM alternatives with minimal wide-spectrum pesticide input with extinct therapies.

“We can exhaust some chemical substances that aren’t within the market factual but for the change and hit upon where they presumably slot in due route, chemical substances that soon would possibly be made within the market,” she stated.

Contemporary emerging pests equivalent to scolytid beetles, scarab pests, Macadamia seed weevil and the Leptocoris spp. bug were identified since the undertaking started.

While the fruitspotting bug has been stumbled on to be the fundamental pest, be taught has now identified the distinction between the damage led to by one other bug, the Leptocoris spp., enabling extra centered pest management by growers.

Spiders the quiet killers

Ross Arnett standing next to inter-row cropping on his macadamia orchard.

Ross Arnett between his cowl vegetation and macadamia trees on his Lindendale orchard.(

Supplied: Ross Arnett


In the Northern Rivers the be taught has been conducted on two farms, one extinct and the assorted Ross Arnett’s biological orchard, where knowledge is serene mostly all the blueprint via flowering.

“There’s 30 trees on my property monitored every two to three weeks to hit upon what beneficials and what pests are within the orchards, are there in those trees, so we notice that over time to hit upon how the orchard’s acting on that front,” Mr Arnett stated. 

“The remaining three years I’ve handiest had to set up one spray in all the orchard with insecticide … factual to aid watch over weevil.”

Mr Arnett retains his pests under aid watch over by utilizing parasitic wasps and varied beneficial insects, as effectively as rising biodiversity with cowl vegetation down the rows and round the orchard perimeter.

“You’ll want to well perchance well presumably appreciate lace bug in a flower and offers it a pair of faucets out on a board and also you have to to well perchance have the skill to hit upon runt excited spiders jog off.

“It’s those runt hidden creatures that you set up no longer hit upon that are doing all the work.” 

Mustard plants growing between rows of macadamia trees.

Mustard vegetation rising within the inter-row increases the desire of natural enemies in a macadamia orchard as section of an integrated pest management design.(

Supplied: NSW DPI


Mr Arnett stated spraying to aid watch over pests must serene be shunned at all charges. 

“If you happen to could well perchance appreciate to spray you have to to well perchance well also appreciate got to spray, because within the waste whether you’re doing regenerative ag or extinct farming you set up serene need to blueprint a living off your farm.

“But we’re making an strive to set up it, in regenerative ag, in a extra gentle methodology on the atmosphere and enhance the ecology, the soils and tree health, in that process.”

A sunflower with a bug and bees.

An assassin bug preys on a honey bee while four native bees feed on a sunflower in an inter-row on Ross Arnett’s macadamia orchard.(

Supplied: Ross Arnett


Mr Arnett hoped that the NSW DPI be taught would provide varied farmers the inducement to stare upon pest aid watch over alternatives appreciate cowl vegetation. 

But, he added, it used to be more straightforward stated than done due to the top of trees in local orchards.

“We appreciate got trees that are 15 metres wide and presumably 8 metres is the optimum top for a macadamia tree, for the tools we appreciate to exhaust, and to derive ample gentle within the orchard so that you’re going to have the skill to develop floor covers,” he stated.

Boosting beneficial insects, biodiversity key to controlling ‘baddies’ attacking macadamias