Industry Resources

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MacAlert November 2023

2023 | Australian Macadamia Society | Manual/guide

Key messages this month include: • Spotting bug. Monitoring for spotting bug is critical. Look for damage at least weekly and preferably more regularly in warmer regions. The next few months are a period of high risk and potential crop loss. • Red Shouldered Leaf Beetle. This swarming pest has impacted many orchards over the last year, feeding on leaves (particularly new flush) that are left skeletonised or appear scorched. • Macadamia nut borer (MNB). Monitor for nut borer eggs (which signals the start of flights into orchards) to help time releases of the parasitic Trichogramma wasp, MacTrix. • Macadamia seed weevil (MSW). Monitor shed nuts on the ground for MSW eggs or larvae, particularly if control such as indoxacarb spraying was missed. • Husk spot. There are several new products available for control. If you have to spray for husk spot, ensure you are rotating chemical groups, which is more complicated with the new compound products. • Nutritional demand. Growing flushes and developing nuts are currently large nutritional sinks. Nitrogen and potassium are particularly important at this crop stage. • Water demand. The declared El Niño will lead to months of drier, hotter weather ahead. Macadamia trees have excellent ‘poker faces’ when it comes to environmental and soil water stress. • The potential for damage from intense storms (even during El Niño conditions) is increasing, so be prepared. • The Benchmarking project team has commenced data collection for the 2023 season.

MacAlert October 2023

2023 | Australian Macadamia Society | Manual/guide

Key messages this month include: • Macadamia seed weevil (MSW). Although MSW is a NNSW and FNQLD pest, every region should be on the look out. • Husk Spot. Control for husk spot should have started if you have susceptible cultivars, and or a history of the disease. • Spotting bugs (FSB & BSB). Early in the season look for distinctive damage on nutlets as they reach pea size and fall from trees when stung. • Banana fruit caterpillar (BFC). In northern regions, monitor for BFC in leaf litter and when they are active at night. • If you are unsure of how trees are progressing nutritionally, spring is a good time to sample leaves after flowering and before they flush. • During spraying season, mitigating spray drift is crucial. • With dry weather ahead one of the best ways to maintain soil moisture, improve soil productivity and ensure orchard resilience is ground cover. • Warmer weather with increased vegetation, after three wet seasons, are ideal conditions for many pests and increase the risk of bushfires.

MacAlert September 2023

2023 | Australian Macadamia Society | Manual/guide

Key messages this month include: • Monitor weekly to fortnightly for pests and diseases that affect flowers depending on the risk to your orchard. • If you have known hotspots, pay close attention to them first. Best practice is to select controls that have the least impact on non-target species. • If you’re still harvesting, be aware of withholding periods and products that you cannot use if you are still going to pick up nuts (such as Sivanto Prime). • With the number of Varroa mite infested sites increasing, make sure you know where your honey bee hives are coming from. • Tree water demand is increasing, you need to put in place every moisture retention strategy you can. • The AMS website has a weather monitoring page where you can see real time conditions on a large network of weather stations located on macadamia orchards. • You are likely to be doing some sort of canopy management over the next few months. Remember to be safe. Ensure that all staff are suitably trained. • There are so many benefits of letting ground cover grow. Consider reduced mowing strategies to save costs and improve orchard health, leaving a habitat for beneficials and improving orchard floor moisture retention as we head into drier months ahead.

MacAlert August 2023

2023 | Australian Macadamia Society | Manual/guide

• Monitoring should be underway for pests and diseases that impact flowers. Cutting back on monitoring is a risky strategy, the small investment is invaluable. • In southern regions, monitor for lace bug. Previous hotspots are a good place to start. • In northern regions, monitor for flower caterpillar. Eggs are the first sign of infestation. • Flower blights. If your orchard has a history of flower diseases and weather conditions are conducive, you may need to apply a preventative fungicide. • Husk spot. Shortly after flowering, husk spot control is important if your orchard has a history of the disease, has stick tights and/or susceptible cultivars. • Rats are always an issue, but they are reported to have been more damaging this season following wet years. You have an opportunity at the end of harvest to reduce populations. • As the weather warms, tree nutrition and water requirements increase. An El Nino is expected to form in the second half of the year and conditions will likely be hotter and drier. • At end of harvest season, conduct a thorough audit of what needs to be repaired and make notes while it’s fresh in your mind of how machinery performed. • Do you have a plan to bring managed pollinators into your orchard? Honeybee and native beehives have different distribution and management considerations. • As the weather warms there is an opportunity to plant cover crops which improve orchard productivity and resilience. • Winter is the best time to prepare for fire season and as a landowner you are responsible for this preparation.

MacAlert July 2023

2023 | Australian Macadamia Society | Manual/guide

MacAlert June 2023

2023 | Australian Macadamia Society | Manual/guide

Key messages this month include: • We are heading into the peak pest and disease monitoring period. The impacts of this year’s weather conditions need to be factored into your management. • There is still time to adjust nutrition before flowering, so discuss your soil/leaf sampling results with your consultant and develop a nutrition program. • With current prices, the incentive to harvest and its cost are being weighed by each grower. Your grower liaison can help sample in blocks you aren’t sure are worth picking up. • Do you understand how kernel assessments on samples from your consignments are conducted and what this means for grower payments? The AMS is holding kernel assessment workshops. • Winter is the best time to prepare your farm for the fire risk season ahead. • Are you ready for spray activities over the next few months?

MacAlert May 2023

2023 | Australian Macadamia Society | Manual/guide

Key Messages this month include: After months of above average rainfall, assess Phytophthora levels in your orchard. There are a number of ways to plan crop inputs for the season ahead, soil and leaf sampling and crop load assessment. When purchasing organic matter, do you know what you are purchasing? Heading into winter, monitor weather conditions for frost and apply frost protectant if required. Have you considered tree shaking? There are a range of efficiency and orchard health benefits. Continue to audit harvest efficiency and make adjustments as required in the orchard and shed. This season might be the time to consider major canopy rejuvenation if you have the reserves to do so. Analysis of consignment reports is most helpful when done block by block and can direct rationalisation with current farm gate prices. The BOM predicts a likely return to El Nino conditions over the coming months.

MacAlert April 2023

2023 | Australian Macadamia Society | Manual/guide

Key messages this month include: • Uninterrupted processes and machinery performance are essential during harvest. • Harvest regularly at least every three weeks aiming for > 90% pick up. • Kernel quality relies on actively managing moisture and heat in stored nuts. • Soil sampling is the best way to understand trends in key soil properties and nutrient levels, while leaf sampling gives a within-tree view of nutrient status at a phenological stage. • Organic Inputs. It may seem early, but now is the time to determine what organic amendments you will be applying immediately after harvest. • Controlling vertebrate pests is essential during nut drop. • Are you analysing on-farm crop loss? • With lower farm gate prices have you considered rejuvenating canopy management?

MacAlert March 2023

2023 | Australian Macadamia Society | Manual/guide

Key messages this month include: • Wet weather has been perfect breeding conditions for insects such as moths that can impacts flush and nuts. • Are you seeing signs of thrip and mite or monolepta beetle damage on new flush? Chat to your consultant about whether control is required. • Rats control relies on proactively keeping the population down. • Phytophthora translated to it’s original Greek means “plant destroyer”. Now is the time to assess it’s impact in your orchard with a new, simple severity scale. • Long term productivity relies on consistent nutrition but low farm gate prices may mean you need adjustments. • Orchard floor preparation is not the only clean up required prior to harvest, infrastructure cleaning is required. • There are major benefits to completing a crop loss assessment on all loads coming into the shed. • Are there ways to reduce your harvest period and set the orchard up for the following season sooner? • Don’t miss the deadline for grant applications and fund acquittals.

MacAlert February 2023

2023 | Australian Macadamia Society | Manual/guide

Key messages this month include : • Spotting bug. Late season damage is only fully revealed in consignment reports. Damage is worse in thin-shelled cultivars and following rain. • Macadamia Nut borer (MNB). Like many pests, MNB is triggered with warm, wet weather. Damage appears as 2-3 mm holes at the top of shells. • Botryosphaeria branch dieback. We’ve been hearing more about this disease because it is causing increasing damage in many tree species. Infection symptoms are obvious in summer. • If the orchard has experienced prolonged summer rain and/or a heavy crop, you may need to adjust your nutrition program. • Finish pre-harvest clean-up ensuring minimal old nut, sticks and debris remain on the orchard floor. • Download the AMS Harvest Checklist and Grower Harvest Tips. • Are you concerned about how to prioritise inputs and adjust operations for the season ahead? RSVP for the AMS MacGroup events.

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