Riverland citrus crop protection paying dividends
- Grower Stories
13 August, 2018
- Grower Stories
13 August, 2018
Bayer Commercial Sales Representative Darren Alexander with Andrew Duffield and Brett Morgan, Agri Business Supplies, Ramco, pictured discussing the use of Movento insecticide to help control thrips and scale in Riverland citrus crops.
Brett Morgan, Managing Director with local independent rural retailer, Agri Business Supplies at Ramco in SA, said the region was enjoying the fruit fly free zone compared with the Adelaide and Mildura areas, and after previously relying on the US market, South Africa, China and Japan were now the largest markets.
Brett said winegrapes, particularly Chardonnay and Shiraz varieties, remained the biggest crop around Ramco, grown over about 10,000 ha, while citrus crops, largely navel and Valencia oranges, but also some tangelo and Satsuma oranges, were produced over about 3000 ha.
“We have a green corridor down the (Murray) river, and either side of that is broadacre,’’ Brett said.
“Grapes are good, getting $100-$130/t more than they were two years ago.
“Avocado is another up and coming crop in the area.’’
The Morgans have a long family history in the region, with Brett’s great grandfather having lived locally and worked as an engineer on paddleboats, while his late father, Kevin, packed fruit at the Agri Business Supplies premises when it was formerly Waikerie Producers Cooperative.
Brett said the horticultural area had pressurised pipelines since the mid-60s, while some areas had been watered by drip irrigation systems since the early 70s.
He said thrips and scale had been some of the major insect challenges for citrus growers, however the integrated pest management (IPM) friendly insecticide, Movento®, had helped to keep them under control.
“It first came in as a more expensive option compared to some alternatives, but all those products ran into MRL (maximum residue limit) issues and it is now sitting as one of the more competitive products with no MRL concerns. It would be our biggest selling insecticide.’’
“It is a good performer. It does the job well, ticks all the MRL boxes and is good with IPM programs when used as directed.
“It’s a very good active ingredient (spirotetramat).’’
Brett said local agronomy consulting business, Fruit Doctors, widely recommended using Movento with the adjuvant Hasten®, to help penetrate leaf material.
Brett, Andrew and Darren check the quality of some local Shiraz grapes prior to harvest
In addition to thrips and scale in citrus crops, the innovative and powerful Movento insecticide, from Bayer, is also used to control silverleaf whitefly, various aphids and other sucking insects in a range of vegetable crops, stone fruit, mangoes, grapes, pome fruit and cotton.
Different to most systemic fungicides, which, after leaf uptake are mainly translocated in plants’ xylem along with water and nutrients and are transported upwards, Movento is translocated in plants’ phloem as well as xylem, resulting in transportation upwards and downwards to plant parts not contacted by the insecticide. It can better control sucking pests hiding on covered inner leaves than other insecticides, as well as populations that may have developed resistance to other chemical groups.
It is also highly compatible for tank mixing with other products and is “soft’’ on most beneficial species when used as directed, including parasitoids, hover flies, lacewings, ladybird beetles, predatory bugs and earwigs.
Brett said the region can experience heavy thrips infestations. Mild summers had helped to contain them in recent times, although conversely, these conditions provide for heavier scale infestations.
“Around this area, growers normally go with one insecticide a year. If infestations are bad, they will go to two sprays, but they rarely go to three sprays,’’ he said.
“Thrips are generally treated around the second week of November, which will also pick up red scale. February-March applications are considered for late scale.’’
Brett said gall wasps had also become more common, with Confidor® Guard insecticide recently registered for suppression of citrus gall wasp.