Start of ground treatments
Spain: Very small fruit fly population in Valencia this campaign
In the last week of August, the Council of Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change and Rural Development of Valencia started the ground treatments against the fruit fly population in the region's citrus producing areas, carried out within the framework of the strategy to tackle the Ceratitis capitata.
According to the regional Government in a statement, the peak population of the pest this campaign has been the lowest in recent years, and currently levels are similar to those of 2013 or 2015, which were "years with not too many problems caused by the pest." The Council is making use of a total of 32 quad-type vehicles (four more than last year) equipped with spray devices and adapted to transit in farms. The insecticides used are Lambda Cihalotrin in combination with hydrolysed protein or Spinosad.
With these treatments, "only one side of the tree is sprayed with the insecticide, which is mixed with a fly specific attractant. As a result, there is a lower impact on beneficial organisms."
The Council of Agriculture has acquired another insecticide based on lambda cyhalothrin, which is also authorised for this kind of treatments in kaki plantations.
The treatments with quads are intended for "all citrus and kaki production areas susceptible to be attacked by the insect, with a focus on the spots where the fly has greater incidence. They also serve to protect the fruit of the plantations with extra-early citrus and kaki varieties that are starting to ripen."
The Council also distributes the phytosanitary product free of charge, so that producers can carry out their treatments with the extra-early varieties.
The distribution for extra-early citrus and kaki varieties is currently underway. About 2,200 litres of the product have already been distributed for citrus fruit, while for kakis the figure stands at 1,300 litres. These will be used in nearly 6,800 hectares of extra-early citrus crops and 3,800 hectares of kaki plantations in order to reduce the fruit fly populations and protect the fruit.
Traps in fig and fruit trees
As in previous campaigns, this year, during the months of July and August, the Council has placed close to 19,000 traps for Ceratitis capitata in about 15,000 fig and fruit trees spread over about 170,000 hectares in the Region. During the summer months, the pest is able to reproduce in the isolated fig trees that exist between citrus plantations and use them as a reservoir for later attacks on citrus.
This year, traps have been distributed to producers cultivating stone fruit trees, figs, kakis, pomegranates, table grapes and extra-early citrus fruit varieties, both with organic and conventional crops. Moreover, traps have been distributed for the entire Region of Valencia, without distinction of zones. The Council supplies 50% of the traps needed to those producers who can justify the purchase of the other 50%.
In total, about 255,000 traps have been distributed, which together with the contribution from the producers will serve to protect some 10,200 hectares. The distribution is still being carried out and requests for traps arriving late will also be attended to, so these figures will still increase.
With the use of mass trapping, the amount of insecticide needed to control the pest in relation to conventional spraying can be reduced "by more than 96%," which allows the Council "to comply with the Government's resolution on the reduction of use of pesticides and the promotion of Agroecology in the Region of Valencia," they reported.
The Council also has the possibility of carrying out collective aerial treatments with phytosanitary products authorised for organic agriculture by means of airplanes and helicopters, which make it possible to act quickly to control rebounds in the pest's population levels.
Publication date: 9/8/2017
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