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Integrated control of citrus pests in China

Overview of Project

This project will build on the existing collaboration between the Biological and Chemical Research Institute (BCRI), New South Wales, Australia, and the Guangdong Entomological Institute (GEI), China. The main objectives of the research are to reduce the use of broad spectrum pesticides in China by implementing IPM programs and to improve Australian IPM programs through a greater understanding of the relative effectiveness of the natural enemies of citrus red scale and factors that influence their effectiveness, and through the introduction and release of a predatory thrips, Aleurodothrips fasciapennis (Franklin). Citrus production is an important subsector of Chinese agriculture and has increased threefold (28% annually) since 1978. Commercial plantings are expected to reach 1 million hectares by the year 2000. Emphasis on the use of broad spectrum pesticides (e.g. carbamates, organophosphates) since the 1940s has led to almost complete dependence on their use. The current annual cost of applying pesticides in southern China is very high up to 20% of the gross value of production per hectare.

In contrast, the 32 000 hectare, $250 million, Australian industry has successfully used integrated pest management (IPM) programs, based on the use of introduced natural enemies and C21C23 petroleum spray oils. In the late 1980s IPM programs were estimated to be reducing spray costs by $4001000 per hectare annually, particularly for the control of citrus red scale and white wax scale.

Key Outcomes of Project

A successful outcome to the project will benefit the Australian citrus industry with savings in spray costs estimated at $2 million per year as well as savings of up to $1 750 per hectare from reductions in downgraded fruit.

The Australian manufacturing industry also stands to benefit as the petroleum based oils are not produced in East Asia and Australian refineries are developing markets in the area. The project will also enable quarantine tests required for the release of A. fasciapennis in Australian orchards to be carried out in China at significantly lower costs than in Australia.

The benefits to China will include a reduction in the current unacceptably high pesticide spray costs, reduced pollution with pesticides and pesticide residues in fruit and reduction in health costs associated with the use of hazardous chemicals.

Project Dates

01 Jul 1993 - 30 Jun 1996

Partners

Guangdong Entomological Institute - China
Queensland Department of Primary Industries - Australia

Leaders

Professor Andrew Beattie

Email

a.beattie@uws.edu.au

Phone

02 4570 1287

Website
Launch Website