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Camellia Aebischer

BY CAMELLIA AEBISCHER

Streamlining fruit fly management

Table grape growers in Sunraysia put heads together to find efficient solutions to fruit fly management

Streamlining fruit fly management

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A Sunraysia table grape grower has come up with an inventive solution to manage fruit fly which reduces cost and increases productivity.

“We have 100ha of vines here in Merbein. To bait the whole area, we needed a much faster and much more economical way of applying bait than foliar spraying every vine from the tractor,” said grower Peter Argiro.

He said he hadn’t found the right sprayer to meet his needs so decided to design one himself.

The adjustable sprayer was put together in around four hours and now Argiro can easily move across a number of different vine canopies.

“We should be able to get across large areas very quickly now, at much less cost than before, and once we made the decision to make baiting more efficient we actually designed and built this really quickly and cheaply. We already had all the parts,” he said.

Following Argiro’s success, the rig will be featured at a field day event to help growers share ideas and techniques for spray applications.

Australian Table Grape Association chief executive officer, Jeff Scott, said the field days offer growers an opportunity to see what the spraying options are and talk to other growers.

“Fruit fly management needs to be a part of every growers pest management routine and growers need to attend one of these field days so they can see firsthand what spraying option is best for their property.”

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