Researchers are helping horticulturists deal with a pest of both avocados and grapevines; data regarding this has been shared in Western Australia. The three-year research project has looked at the six spotted mite which is only considered a pest of avocados in the lower south west of WA and New Zealand.
The pest feeds on the foliage of avocado trees and, in higher numbers, causes the plant to shed its leaves and expose the fruit to sunburn - compromising quality, value and growers' returns.
According to goodfruitandvegetables.com.au, the WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) is in the final year of the project which is funded by Hort Innovation. The findings so far were shared with south west growers at a workshop at Manjimup last month.
According to WA DPIRD, avocado production is now WA's biggest and fastest growing fruit industry, with 33,239 tons produced in 2019-20, worth $207 million, from orchards in Pemberton, Manjimup, Busselton, Wanneroo and Gingin. About two thirds of WA avocado orchards are at full production age with the remainder consisting of young trees that will begin to contribute in the next few years to the production of avocados in WA.