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IPDM in focus: apple and pear’s Integrated Pest and Disease Management Manual

Pest and Disease Management

Latest research findings from the PIPS3 and PIPS 4 Profit programs to be incorporated into updated IPDM Manual.

Growers currently have a suite of biological, agronomic and decision-support tools available to help deal with the biological web of pests, disease, weeds and control agents that influence economic and ecological sustainability.  

Many are covered in the Integrated Pest Disease and Weed Management manual for Australian Apples and Pears (IPDM Manual) that includes information on how to develop an IPDM plan; key pests and diseases, their activity periods, and monitoring methods; biosecurity and potential incursions of new pests; integrated weed management; pesticides and the apple and pear industry; and pest and disease factsheets. 

As part of the PIPS 4 Profit program’s new Pest and disease management (AP22001) project – a five-year research and development project for pest and disease management in apples and pears – the IPDM Manual will undergo an update to incorporate the latest research findings from the PIPS3 and PIPS 4 Profit programs in areas such as biological control of codling moth and orchard management for beneficial habitat creation. 

The IPDM Manual is a critical resource that provides solutions to better manage key pests and diseases using an integrated management approach. It covers a broad range of questions growers are asking, from optimising the effectiveness of mating and monitoring in disruption blocks, pesticide resistance management, how to develop an IPDM plan, integrated weed management, and tables displaying the toxicity of pesticides to beneficial species such as biocontrol agents. A welcome feature of the manual is local information written by specialists working across Australia’s varied apple and pear growing regions. This local and regional focus ensures the manual is relevant, topical and applicable. 

What is IPDM? 

The manual defines IPDM as simply “… evaluating your pest problems and then developing a systems approach to manage the problems in a crop production context.” However, it is not necessarily a simple process, especially the decision on where and how to start, and is highly dependent upon your orchard system, including layout, management and local climatic conditions. Nevertheless, the IPDM Manual is an excellent resource to commence and is a reference point throughout planning and implementation of an IPDM plan. A sound understanding of IPDM and the successful implementation of a program can lead to significant economic and environmental benefits such as reduced synthetic pesticide use.  

Monitoring 

Taking action to implement an IPDM plan includes a well-designed and cost-effective monitoring program. Monitoring is all about proactive management. It identifies issues before they become a problem and allows for timely and effective intervention, often meaning a disruption to the pest or disease life cycle, to prevent crop damage and unnecessary sprays.  

Importantly, a well-run IPDM plan involves no reduction in marketable yield because pest and disease management is integrated into daily, weekly and seasonal orchard operations rather than a separate list of managements. This approach takes practice and experimentation to develop confidence in new techniques and what works for your growing scenario. Becoming familiar with the beneficial organisms that are likely to become more common in the orchard is one way to track progress as more blocks are converted to IPDM. A pest management plan should be developed before the beginning of each season and incorporate new information and lessons learned from previous years. 

 

The Integrated Pest Disease and Weed Management manual for Australian Apples and Pears provides solutions to better manage key pests and diseases using an integrated management approach.

Resources 

The Integrated Pest and Disease (IPDM) manual 2nd edition was prepared by David Williams and Oscar Villalta (Agriculture Victoria) with contributions by Stephen Quarrell (University of Tasmania), Kevin Dodds (NSW DPI), Paul James (Lenswood Co-op), and Alison Mathews and Stewart Learmonth (WA DPIRD). The IPDM Manual is available online, free of charge at: https://extensionaus.com.au/ozapplepearipdm/ipdm-manual-for-apples-and-pears 

The IPDM Monitoring Calendar has been designed to help you monitor your orchards more effectively: https://extensionaus.com.au/ozapplepearipdm/wp-content/uploads/sites/15/2018/10/IPDM-Monitoring-Calendar_28112018_DW-FINAL.pdf 

The IPDM Monitoring Sheet is designed for recording pests and diseases in regular sampling of your orchard, using the protocols described in monitoring methods. Timing of sampling can be guided by the monitoring calendar: https://extensionaus.com.au/ozapplepearipdm/wp-content/uploads/sites/15/2018/10/IPDM-monitoring-sheet-FINAL-1.pdf 

 

Acknowledgements 

The PIPS 4 Profit program’s Pest and disease management (AP22001) project has been funded by Hort Innovation, using the apple and pear research and development levy, contributions from the Australian Government and co-investment from Agriculture Victoria. Hort Innovation is the grower-owned, not-for-profit research and development corporation for Australian horticulture.  

 

This article was first published in the Summer 2023/4 edition of AFG.

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