NZ research shows huge potential for mesh covered potato crops

A group of Lincoln University researchers in New Zealand have seen promising results from a trial of using mesh cover to protect potato crops from insect pests.

The effectiveness of the mesh at protecting potatoes from the tomato-potato psyllid [TPP] was tested in a trial at the Foundation for Arable Research (FAR) field site at Lincoln.

Future Farming Centre head Dr Charles Merfield said the mesh was "incredibly effective. It kept 99 per cent of the psyllids out from under the mesh despite an infested plot of potatoes being just a couple of metres away, " Charles Merfield, head of Future Farming Centre said.

Merfield said if they had dug the mesh cover in there would have been no psyllids at all and it would have offered 100 per cent control.

Fine mesh had the potential to control all potato insect pests and blight and increase yield, Merfield said.


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