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Fruit Fly Protection, NSW

Crop Type: Commercial grower of Feijoas and Macadamias.

Key Challenges: Fruit fly damage to the clients Feijoa crop making 100% of his produce unsellable.

Structure type: Removable over row net structures made from 50% white shadecloth with only 27% shade and an opening size of less than 1.5mm for fruit fly protection.

Outcome: Very minimal fruit fly infestation working to nearly 100% resulting in a significant increase in fruit quality and yield.

The anticipated increase in production of feijoa fruit in 2022 with both blocks coming into full production, we had to consider the options of netting the feijoa trees to enhance crop protection. In the past, the cost of netting had been prohibitive, and any available netting technology focused on bird netting. However, birds have not proven to the be the problem with feijoa fruits and there has been minimal research and development in netting specifically for Queensland fruit fly on Feijoa fruit apart from the home gardener putting fine mesh netting over individual trees.

Feijoa is an emerging commercial crop with a limited number of commercial growers, but the fruit is extremely favoured by the Queensland Fruit Fly. Therefore, in previous seasons, the growers yield had been so badly affected that they typically had next to no fruit to sell. This year with the netting he has already yielded over 1000kgs of A Grade fruit from a mere 50 trees with no fruit fly damage. Needless to say, the client is now looking at installing these net structures over the rest of the farm.

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