Project 7:

New Technologies for Crop Protection

To identify and evaluate novel or emerging pest control methods that will complement agroecological crop protection. These will include physical, cultural, and mechanical controls such as mesh covers, robotics, UV spectra, and biological control agents. The scope may also include projects to better understand aspects of agroecology which complement crop protection programmes.

Start date:

April 1, 2020

Key milestone:

June 30, 2021 - Literature review and evaluation of new technology completed.

Key milestone:

Proposals to investigate the feasibility and effectiveness of identified new technologies, and how they may be incorporated into agroecological crop protection programmes, prepared for review by the PGG.

Key milestone:

October 1, 2021 - Two new technology projects begin with outcomes feeding into Projects 8 and 9.

Key milestone:

June 30, 2022 - Ongoing literature review and evaluation of new technology completed with proposals for new technology projects prepared for PGG review by 30 September annually.

Key milestone:

October 1, 2022 - Two new technology projects begin each year through to conclusion of the programme.

End date:

March 31, 2027

Progress

A request for proposals was issued late 2020 for a report on new technologies for crop protection which may be suitable for use in New Zealand. No proposals were forthcoming, and the programme team has undertaken the work of reviewing options.

In 2021 a new project began with Zespri, looking to test new trapping methodologies to better monitor and respond to Scolypopa australis, the passion vine hopper, in kiwifruit orchards.

The search for broadly applicable technologies that will aid Integrated Pest Management continues. Scoping is underway around the application of UV light spectra; non chemical weeding; and more recently a novel approach to bird control.