SA04WB-01: Pest management


Research Site / Demonstration Number: SA04WB-01
Grower Collaborator: Littabella Pines
Location 1: South Littabella Road, Yandaran
Start date: January 2019


To develop integrated pest management practices and evaluate alternative non-synthetic pesticide products in both pre-plant and post-plant pest management programs targeting fruit yield and quality. Fields of both Smooth Cayenne and 73-50 are included in the trial.


  1. To investigate and improve preventative pest management programs.
  2. To investigate and improve pre-plant pest management programs with a focus on improving soil biology.
  3. To undertake a cost analysis of the different pest management program compared with standard practices.
  4. To increase yield and fruit quality in plant and ratoon crops.


The trial site has followed a previous crop of Smooth Cayenne, which was taken to plant and ratoon crop.  The previous crop was harvested in spring 2018 with major issues of Phytophthora root rot, nematode and black beetle/white grub.

The soil was prepared to standard industry conditions with good soil tilth, no crop residue and good soil moisture with a soil pH of 4.2.  Weather leading up to application included good rainfall with temperatures ranging from 20 – 30°C.  The site will be planted with Smooth Cayenne and hybrid 73-50 pineapple varieties.

Location Map – South Littabella Road, Yandaran


Nematamax – is a biological inoculant based on a selective strain of naturally occurring entomopathogenic fungus. The spore of the fungus acts by infecting, parasitizing and killing eggs, juvenile and adults of most nematode species.

Mycorrhizal fungi – are fungi with a network of minute filaments, which attach and penetrate roots of plants. The benefit to plants is that they in effect increase the surface area of plant roots in exchange for sugars supplied by the plant roots. In this way they can improve nutrient and water uptake by plants.

Squadron – contains bacteria which it is claimed protect plants from pathogens by rapidly colonising the rhizosphere on the roots.

Rhizomax – a selective strain of Bacillus sp. which is claimed to provide effective management of a wide range of both fungi and bacteria.

Trifix N – Three naturally occurring endophytic bacteria which are claimed to enhance fertiliser efficiency by improved nutrient uptake and utilisation by the crop, increase nitrogen fixation and improved uptake of applied nitrogen and improved root development in plants, improving plant health and their ability to cope with stress.

Hatake – Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain claimed to show excellent plant pathogen fighting ability and high organic matter degradation activities.




January 2019
Treatments planned and site selected

March 2019
Soil assessment – nutritional

April 2019
Pre-plant treatments applied
Site planted

July 2019
Crop health assessment

September 2019
First round post plant treatments applied

November 2019
Crop health assessment

March 2020
Second round post plant treatments applied


The trial site was established in dry conditions.  The site continues to experience extremely dry weather and delayed application of treatments as per schedule. Irrigation has been undertaken after first round of post plant treatment applications.

Trial Site – two months after planting


3 Months

Crop health and pest and disease assessments for both hybrid and Smooth Cayenne have indicated the following:

  • There are small variations in total plant weight between treatment and standard practices.
  • There are quite large differences in root health (root number and root length) in both Smooth Cayenne and hybrid treatments compared with standard practices.
  • There are minimal signs or symptoms of Phytophthora root rot, nematode or insect damage across any of the treated or standard practices plots at this stage.
  • There is no visible difference in colour or general health of the plants.

6 Months

Crop health and pest and disease assessments for both hybrid and Smooth Cayenne have indicated the following:

  • Total plant growth – there is little variation between smooth cayenne treatment and standard. There is significantly better plant and root growth in the hybrid treatment and standard.
  • There are quite large differences in root health with significant increases in root number and root volume in the treatments across both smooth and hybrid varieties.
  • There are increasing symptoms of Phytophthora root rot and nematode across standard practices and both treatments.
  • There is no variation of nematode ratings across standard practices and treatment in smooth cayenne. There are major differences in nematode rating in the hybrid, with the treatment showing much less impact.
  • There are major differences in Phytophthora root rot ratings across both varieties. In both situations the treatment has had better results.
  • In general, there is a noticeable difference in colour and general health of the plants between treatment and standard practice. In both varieties the treatment is visually better.

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