NSW Macadamia Plant Protection Guide released

The 8th edition of the NSW Macadamia Plant Protection Guide has been published and is now available online.

NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) Development Officer Jeremy Bright, who authored the 2022/2023 edition, said with Covid challenges, natural disasters, and now the threat of a varroa mite incursion on our number one pollinator, this has been a particularly difficult year for macadamia growers in NSW.

“NSW DPI continues to support growers through industry development and extension material such as this guide, our integrated pest and disease management (IPDM) outputs, and the grants and support available via the Rural Assistance Authority,” Mr Bright said.

“The guide provides comprehensive information on pest and disease management through regular monitoring, cultural and biological management; backed up by strategic chemical treatments with an emphasis on biosecurity considerations.”

“The guide also highlights the outcomes achieved by NSW DPI as part of the five-year Integrated Pest Management (IPM) project, with growers now considering a management system that is specific for their farm and location”, Mr Bright said.

The previous edition included an industry challenge called ‘Keep it below 50’, with the aim to end up with the lowest possible IPDM scorecard whilst maintaining adequate productivity. Growers participated by tallying up treatments on their orchard, each with a different value and yield.

“The key within IPDM and the scorecard system is that where we see a score under 50 with good yields and kernel recovery, we can focus on that orchard and identify what other practices they may be carrying out to obtain this. This then acts as a very good tool for the rest of industry to learn from,” Mr Bright said.

“We are happy to announce that the first ‘prototype’ of the scorecard was very well received by industry. Results have been extremely encouraging, with the overall average score being 52 points. To make the best use of the data, we added all the farm information to a dashboard application that analyses and presents data simply.”

The Australian macadamia industry is valued at approximately $293 million per year. Comprehensive information such as the guide are imperative to maintaining the valuable crop for growers in NSW and Queensland.

The guide is available for free to macadamia growers and is distributed to all macadamia processors within Australia. The guide is also available online at https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/agriculture/horticulture/nuts/growing-guides/macadamia-protection-guide

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