SA04SEQ-02: Pest management

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Research Site / Demonstration Number: SA04SEQ-02

Grower Collaborator: Pinata Farms – Wamuran

Location 2: Pates Road, Wamuran

Initiation Date: December 2018


OUTLINE: To compare and evaluate current and new fumigation products and their application in pineapple production, targeting improvements in plant and ratoon crop yield in 73-50, pesticide efficacy and cost efficiencies.


OBJECTIVES:

  1. To improve the methodology of applying fumigation to pineapple fields.
  2. To compare current and new fumigation products for yield improvements, pesticide efficacy and cost. 
  3. To undertake a cost analysis of the different fumigation products.
  4. To increase yield in plant crop but mainly ratoon crops in 73-50 hybrid.
  5. To investigate efficacy of fumigation on the full range of soil borne pineapple pests. 

SITE HISTORY AND OVERVIEW:

The trial site has followed a previous crop of 73-50 hybrid, which was only taken to a single crop due to poor health and performance.  The crop harvested below industry standards in spring 2018 with major issues of Phytophthora root rot, nematode, black beetle/white grub and natural flowering.  This trial is taking place in the same field as the erosion mitigation trial SA05SEQ-01.


METHODOLOGY:

Application of treatments were undertaken under supervision of R and R Fumigation Services in March 2019.  Treatments were applied at full and half rates. Treatment efficacy, plant growth, yield and cost will be measured and compared. An economic analysis was undertaken because of the high cost of fumigation and the wide range in costs of fumigants.

Trial location prior to application and after cultivation

The soil was prepared to standard industry conditions with good soil tilth, no crop residue and a soil pH of 4.3.  The site received over 20mm rainfall leading into application creating good soil moisture. Weather leading up to application was moderate temperatures ranging from 20 – 30°C.

Application was undertaken outside the normal industry application standards, as due to the lack of correctly set up fumigation rigs being used, there is poor ground coverage and efficacy. Because of this, application was undertaken with a modified fumigation rig with 7 dual outlet tines spaced at 30cm with an application depth of 40cm. The soil was then sealed with a tyre roller and a rainfall event occurring that night.

Modified Fumigation Rig

Modified Fumigator with twin outlets per tine


TREATMENTS:

A complete spectrum of fumigants were applied. These included main stream products used in the industry i.e. Metham Sodium, Rural Telone and Tri Form C35 (Telone C35).  Other fumigants applied were Tri Form 60 (Telone C60) and Pic Plus. The assumptions for efficacy are as follows:

Treatments and site map are as follows:

Treatments were applied at low and high rates (except Metham Sodium) to compare and evaluate pest and disease efficacy, fumigation cost and return on investment through potential improvements in yield and fruit quality.

Pates Road, Wamuran Queensland – Trial Map


ASSESSMENT / EVALUATION METHOD AND DELIVERY SCHEDULE:

  • Pest and disease assessment: Pre-plant, 3, 6, 9, 12, 24 30, 36 and 48 months
  • Crop growth assessment: Pre-plant, 3, 6, 9, 12, 24 30, 36 and 48 months
  • Yield assessment: Plant and ratoon harvest: 24 and 48 months
  • Cost analysis: 48 months

PROGRESS REPORT:

Current Progress: 

December 2018
Treatments planned and site selected

April 2019
Site – land prepared
Treatments applied
Bed formed and planted

July 2019
Pest and disease assessments
Crop health assessments

November 2019
Pest and disease assessments
Crop health assessments

Issues Encountered: There was great difficulty in finding a correctly set up fumigation rig. The grower made major changes to his own rig to meet the fumigation application requirements.

Other Notes: Grower spent approximately $4,000 on modifications to fumigation rig to complete the trial. Further extension work is required to update industry standards for fumigation rigs.


RESULTS

The following results are those taken at 3 – 4 months after planting.  The results reflect measurements in crop growth and root health. Six random samples were taken from each treatment area and the measurements averaged. 

General observations of the crop at 3 – 4 months of age indicate:

  • No obvious differences in leaf colour or irregular growth of the crop
  • No visible symptoms of Phytophthora root rot, nematode or insect damage in any of the treatments
  • There is a clear difference in plant weight, number of roots and total root volume and length between treatments
  • Root establishment improved with fumigation compared with the control (Nil).
  • Fumigants with the combination of 1, 3 dichloropropene and chloropicrin have performed better than fumigants with single active constituents – metham sodium, 1, 3 dichloropropene and chloropicrin.
  • Higher rates have performed better than the lower rates of fumigants.

Cost Analysis – Fumigant Cost

Within this research trial both low and high application rates of fumigants were compared to understand efficacy and improvements in yield (plant and ratoon crop). Comparisons will be made on the cost of the fumigant and the return on investment.  The cost of the individual fumigants are below:

Note: This table does not include application costs or varying costs of freight between regions and suppliers.