Minter Magic is revamping to reduce the effects of fruit flies in Mildura | Farm weekly
A “found in the junkyard” WEEDICIDE tank helps ease fruit fly pressure for a Victorian citrus producer.
In September, Citrus Australia posted a short video highlighting Darren Minter’s pest control measures, Minter Magic, Mildura.
In the video, Mr. Minter shows the tractor-mounted device used to suppress fruit flies in his orange and tango plantations.
The structure includes the salvaged spray tank with three-point suspension, which is equipped with two opposite horizontal arms, which are positioned approximately at tree trunk height.
The spray arms are protected by a box profile to prevent damage when they come into contact with branches.
The orchard is sprayed with a combination of Fruition Xanthan Gum, Fruition Natflav 500 (a yeast bait) and an insecticide mixed together the day before use.
Mr. Minter said he had basic weed killing nozzles attached to the rig that are angled towards the lower foliage.
“Inexpensive and easy,” said Mr Minter.
“With this machine we can actually spray up to 25 km / h through the orchard, so it doesn’t take long.
“The guys at work love it because they don’t have to get out. One tank is enough for the full 100 acres and it’s a nice drive through the orchard with the radio on and the air conditioning on because it’s usually on a cab tractor, not a ROP. ”
The video was released because the seasonal conditions turn out to be ideal for fruit flies.
“We’re supposed to bait weekly. We don’t bait as often over the winter; usually every two to three weeks because they are very little active, but now we have reached spring, they all come up out of the ground,” said Mr Minter.
“That’s one reason why we only need to spray bait sprays for the first month or so after the harvest to keep the numbers under control.
“I haven’t seen a fruit fly on the farm.
“We saw it on our neighbors’ farms, usually in stone fruit trees, not oranges.”
Mr Minter said that over the years he had something left that prompted his high level of vigilance against the devastating pest.
“The reason I’m so interested in getting the message out about fruit fly control is because I saw a picture many years ago, around 2016, I think a whole crop like this that you see behind me, lay on the floor; perfect pieces of fruit, all pricked by fruit flies, “he said.
Citrus Australia has made a series of videos detailing the fruit fly bait and control methods used by various breeders and posted on its Facebook page.
Mr Minter encouraged growers to invest in traps, check them regularly, and speak to neighbors about pest occurrences.
He said the key was to get on your forefoot and spray early.
“If you see one, there are likely hundreds of fruit flies in your orchard, but also maintenance sprayers just to be sure,” he said.
“Once a month, every two weeks, just to make sure you don’t have the problem because if you see it, it’s probably too late.”
Minter Magic has introduced the RapidAIM fruit fly monitoring system, which works with other users in the area to alert breeders to the occurrence of fruit flies.
Mr. Minter has also implemented other proactive management practices on the farm, such as pruning trees immediately after harvest.
The wood scraps are then mulched and put back under the trees to increase the organic matter.
Minter Magic also produces asparagus.
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The story Junkyard Rig Helps Fight Fruit Flies first appeared on Good Fruit & Vegetables.