Chilean Apple Growers Must Use Insecticides to Control Quarantine Pests

Codling Moth Frass

Codling Moth Frass

Chile is a major exporter of apples to other Latin American and Asian countries. Some of these countries do not have populations of the codling moth and they want to keep the insect out. Codling moth is present in Chilean apple orchards which means that growers must spray insecticides to assure that their export fruit shipments will not be rejected.

“Regular applications of insecticides have been the main management practice against codling moth in Chile. … Pest management in Chilean apple orchards with fruit grown for export is dependent on intensive pesticide use, mainly because of strong quarantine restrictions toward the codling moth from Asian and Latin America countries. In this production scenario, even low levels of fruit damage at harvest (<0.5%) are a major concern for growers. To avoid quarantine rejection of exports, an increase in the frequency of insecticide sprays has been observed.”

Authors: E. Fuentes-Contreras1, M. Reyes2, W. Barros1 and B. Sauphanor2

1Department de Producción Agrícola, Universidad de Talca, Talca, Chile; 2PSH-Ecologie de la Production Intégrée, INRA Site Agroparc, Avignon Cedex, France
Title: Evaluation of azinphos-methyl resistance and activity of detoxifying enzymes in codling moth (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) from central Chile.
Publication: Journal of Economic Entomology. 2007. 100(2):551-556.

Apple Production in the UK Made Viable by Pesticides

UK apple growers produce about 400 million pounds of apples per year. About 18 insecticide and fungicide sprays are made yearly to control pests including scab, mildew, aphids and codling moth. By applying a full spray program, good growers have restricted losses due to pests and diseases to very low levels, usually no more than 1-2%. Below, an economic cost-benefit study determined the likely effect on UK apple production if growers did not use pesticides…

“Apples are the most important fruit crop in the UK in terms of area of production and require relatively high levels of pesticide inputs. … If pesticides were not used, apple production would thus not be commercially viable, and the market shortfall would be made up by imports at a similar price. With a negative gross margin apple producers would leave the industry and find other uses for their land.”

Authors: J.P.G. Webster and R.G. Bowles
Affiliation: Farm Business Unit, Wye College, University of London, Kent, UK
Title: Estimating the economic costs and benefits of pesticide use in apples.
Publication: Proceedings of the Brighton Crop Protection Conference, Pests and Diseases. 1996. 4B-1:325-330.

Fungicides Make Apple Growing Possible in South Korea

Farmers in South Korea harvest about 900 million pounds of apples annually. This production is only possible because a large number of fungicide sprays are made to prevent fungal pathogens from rotting the apples. The most common disease of apples in Korea is white rot, a disease that starts on the apple peel, moves toward the core and turns the entire fruit into a soft, watery, pale rotten mess.

“In Korea, due to frequent rain during apple growing season, especially in one month of the rainy season, the disease problem is very serious. If fungicides are not used at all, more than 90% of the fruit may be rotten and almost all the leaves may drop before harvest. Most apple growers spray fungicides 14 to 16 times in each growing season. Among the diseases of economic importance, white rot is the most serious, as cv. Fuji that is highly susceptible to this disease accounts for more than 70% of apples produced.”

Authors: J.Y. Uhm, D.H. Lee, D.H. Kim and H. Woo
Affiliation: School of Applied Biology and Chemistry, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea
Title: Development of a spray program for apple with reduced fungicide application in Korea.
Publication: Journal of Plant Pathology. 2009. 90(Supplement 2):S2.155.

Nutritionists Credit Pesticides for Widespread Availability of Apples in the American Diet

Apple production has come a long way in the U.S. thanks to the protection against insects and diseases provided by pesticides. In fact, without pesticides, this important fruit would largely disappear from our diets. A point recently made by nutritionists from the University of Nebraska…

“Apples play an important role in the American diet. … Apples and apple products offer several important health benefits. Besides supplying key nutrients, apples contain important compounds that may protect against cancer, heart disease, and other chronic diseases.”

“The availability and judicious use of pesticides is important for the production of high-quality apples. Without the use of pesticides, there would be very few apples grown in the United States. Pesticides protect the fruit from attack by insects, mites, disease organisms, and weeds. … Pesticides are necessary to produce an abundant, consumer-accepted, affordable apple supply.”

Authors: Lewis, N. and Ruud, J.
Affiliation: Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences, University of Nebraska
Title: Apples in the American diet.
Publication: Nutrition in Clinical Care. 2004. 7(2): 82-88.