Fungicides Protect South African Grapes from Rot

Bunch Rot

Bunch Rot

South Africa ranks eleventh in the world for grape production. Wine is South Africa’s biggest agricultural export, earning R2.2 billion in foreign exchange annually. South African farmers also produce about 1.8 million tons of table and dry grapes annually. The industry is primarily export oriented with up to 90% of the total production being exported with a value of R1.5 billion per year. The majority of South African grapes are available in northern hemisphere countries during their winter and spring seasons. Fungicide spray programs are commonly applied in South African vineyards to control Botrytis bunch rot.

Botrytis cinerea Pers: Fr. is a common, destructive pathogen causing grey mould. …In South Africa, this is an economically important disease on grapevines. …In table grape production, the most serious damage is the loss of fruit quality due to pre-harvest or post-harvest berry rots. …In wine grape production, the fungus causes a serious decrease in quality of juice and wine. Wines produced from B. cinerea infected berries have off-flavours and are sensitive to oxidation and bacterial contamination, making them unsuitable for ageing.

Chemical control is the main way to reduce grey mould on crops. Producers in South Africa invest heavily in chemical products and routine spray applications each year.”

Authors: van Zyl, S. A., et al.
Affiliation: Department of Plant Pathology, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa.
Title: The use of adjuvants to improve spray deposition and Botrytis cinerea control on Chardonnay grapevine leaves.
Source: Crop Protection. 2010. 29:58-67.

The Worst Fruit Pest in the World is Even Worse in South Africa

Codling Moth

Codling Moth

The codling moth is the most destructive insect pest of pears and apples worldwide. Females deposit eggs on or near fruit and the hatched larvae bore into the fruit and tunnel to the core. As they near development, they eat out an exit hole which they plug with frass. Fruit attacked by codling moth cannot be used for fresh shipment or for commercial canning.

“The codling moth has been the key pest in South African pome fruit orchards since the species was first reported in the country in 1885. The infestation potential of codling moth in South Africa is one of the highest in the world, and moths may be active over as much as 8 months of the year. Codling moth causes extensive damage to apples and pears, with stone fruit being only occasionally attacked. The use of insecticides remains the primary means of controlling codling moth in South African pome fruit orchards, with up to 11 different insecticides being used for control.”

Authors: A.E. Timm1, H. Geertsema1 and L. Warnich2

1Department of Entomology and Center for Agriculture Biodiversity, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa; 2Department of Genetics, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
Title: Gene flow among Cydia pomonella (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) geographic and host populations in South Africa.

Publication: Journal of Economic Entomology. 2006. 99(2):341-348.