The fifth edition of the Macadamia Plant Protection Guide, published by the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI), will provide growers with the latest information on all aspects of protecting orchards from pests and diseases.

DPI Macadamia development officer, Jeremy Bright said the free guide is a great support tool for growers to combat pests and diseases to optimise orchard productivity.

“A sustainable integrated pest and disease management approach across the growing season is the recommended best practice,” Mr Bright said.

“This approach assumes that orchard pest and disease monitoring has indicated thresholds that require treatment through the use of pesticides or biological controls.

“In addition to the more common pests and diseases, we have received many requests for information relating to the control of vertebrate pests of macadamia.”

Rodents are a significant concern for the Australian macadamia industry, accounting for up to 30 per cent crop losses.

This year’s feature article on rodents is by Dr David Elmouttie, the Australian and New Zealand business manager for BASF professional and speciality solutions.

Mr Bright said the article reports on habits, breeding and behaviour of the black rat (Rattus rattus) and provides informative insights into ways of control, and deterrence for this pest.

“Studies have identified the black rat is responsible for greater than 95 per cent of damage across the macadamia region, he said.

“Feedback from growers has indicated that pigs, birds, especially cockatoos and deer are also significant vertebrate pests for macadamia.

“The guide provides information from the NSW DPI vertebrate pests unit and case studies from growers on practical useful control strategies for protecting macadamia crop from these pests.”

The Macadamia plant protection guide can be downloaded on the NSW DPI website