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Agroecological and IPM crop protection for vegetables

Agroecological and IPM crop protection for vegetables

Project Group: Onions NZ

Status: In Progress

Timeline: May, 2021 - Mar, 2027

Last Updated: 02/05/2024

This project focussed on validating agroecological and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approaches to crop protection for onions and vegetable crops, through:

  • upgrading the Metwatch downy mildew decision support tool to enable effective fungicide programming;
  • demonstrating and increasing grower use of the Metwatch tool to manage the changing fungicide landscape;
  • conducting a knowledge review of key pests and diseases to identify and provide recommendations of where improvements can be made;
  • establishing an ongoing monitoring programme to measure the effects of the improvements alongside the current best practice crop protection programme;
  • and utilising the demonstration farm to empower knowledge through result sharing, onsite field days, and grower workshops.

The updated downy mildew support tool has been presented to growers in-person at two Vegetables NZ forums and through a regional tour. In addition, information has been shared through newsletters, updates to growers, and a magazine article.

During the spring and summer of 2023/2024 the farm produced a marketable spring lettuce crop, without any insecticide applications, followed by the successful harvest of a summer broccoli crop, using 60 percent biological controls, and fewer spray applications than were applied to a comparable commercial crop. IPM workshops were also held at the farm with growers and advisors, sharing the decision-making process. Learn more here.

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