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In 2008, a study project into control options within an integrated pest management (IPM) strategy was undertaken, to prepare for an Australian incursion of the tomato potato psyllid.
Based on work done in New Zealand, the project looked at methods which had been effective or ineffective in New Zealand’s potato crops, and developed a strategy from here.
In previous studies, it was confirmed that brown lacewings, hoverflies, damsel bugs and a species of ladybirds all accepted psyllids as prey, even in the presence of alternative prey such as aphids. This means that the generalist predators that are present in Australian potato crops are going to be extremely important in controlling potato psyllid.
Field trials in Canterbury, New Zealand, confirmed that the draft IPM strategy could be used to control all pests, including TPP. This draft strategy involved the use of biological control agents, some cultural methods and the use of selective insecticides.
IPM Technologies and collaborators showed that control of TPP is possible without reliance on heavy use of insecticides. Since this work was funded, newer selective chemistries have been developed that are softer and with greater efficacy, which means that managing the psyllid using IPM can be an effective and viable option for Australian potato growers.
For a more detailed look into the possibilities of using an IPM strategy for psyllid control, please see page 16 of the April-May edition of Potatoes Australia magazine.
A booklet on IPM was included with last month’s edition of Vegetables Australia magazine, and will also be in the forthcoming mailout of Potatoes Australia magazine.
Acknowledgement: reproduced from an article in the AUSVEG Weekly Update.