Queensland Season Update

March 2018

Grower – top tips

What is top of mind for you to do in the orchard in the next few weeks?

  • Maintain fungicide program on all Emporer brown spot susceptible blocks
  • Religiously apply Queensland fruit fly bait to all early season varieties twice per week.
  • Look to establish harvest dates for the early varieties

Is there any pest or disease that you are targeting now or preparing for in the next few weeks?

  • Queensland fruit fly is proving to be a challenge currently; therefore we are maintaining our twice weekly baiting strategy.
  • Emporer brown spot in those susceptible varieties
  • Remain vigilant for the presence of Citrus jassid

What would you like to get done if you had more time?

  • Remove more sunburnt fruit
  • Slashing of grass that continues to grow following the recent wet weather
  • Catch up on weed control in the orchard

Seasonal outlook

Average maximum and minimum temperatures have prevailed during March.  Generally, there has been well below average rainfall, particularly so in Emerald.  Conditions are extremely good in the Burnett on the back of the very good rain experienced during February and early March.

Crop status and management

Phenology

The early season varieties are fast approaching harvest, with many Imperial mandarins currently being tested to determine if they comply with the Australian Citrus Quality Standards.  Colour break on these varieties is progressing well as the nights become cooler.  It is expected that most orchards will begin harvesting their early season varieties after the Easter break.

The Lemon harvest is progressing well with good outturns being achieved.

Low Seeded Murcott blocks are starting to show colour break.

Pests and diseases

The incidence of Queensland fruit fly damage (particularly in Imperials) has increased markedly in the past few weeks.  The good rainfall and subsequent humidity has coincided with maturing fruit causing damage in many blocks.

Black spot symptoms continue to express.

Emporer brown spot pressure remains high and will continue as we move in to the cooler autumn months.

Spined citrus bug and Fruit spotting bug remain troublesome, particularly in Murcott mandarins

To date, citrus jassid have been relatively quiet, however this pest must be monitored very closely as it can cause damage very quickly.

Pests and diseases to look out for in the coming month:

  • Queensland fruit fly
  • Citrus jassid
  • Spined citrus bug and Fruit spotting bug
  • Emporer brown spot
  • Flatids

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This Seasonal Update for Queensland has been prepared by Mal Wallis, CitriCare.