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Be on alert for thrip activity in strawberry crops

This season thrips look set to become an earlier problem, due to last winter’s milder conditions then followed by a dry spring.

This season thrips look set to become an earlier problem, due to last winter’s milder conditions then followed by a dry spring.

The north of the country is already experiencing high populations of the pest, especially in the strawberry sector. Therefore, it’s vital for growers to stay vigilant and alert to thrip activity in their crops, while implementing wider IPM practises to ensure that crop damage is controlled.

Biorationals

When used as part of a wider IPM strategy, biorationals can provide an effective level of control, and form an important part of an anti-resistance strategy.

Biorationals such as Botanigard, should be applied as soon as signs of the pest are visible in the crop, in order to supress population levels. The first application should be followed up within seven days with a second, to build up spore counts in the crop canopy.

Thrips Tips:

  • Be sure to monitor thrip levels – crop walking is essential to get a real time view of pest pressures
  • Thrips favour warm and dry conditions – stay alert to weather conditions and act accordingly
  • When using macro-biologicals within an IPM strategy, it’s better to apply them early on in the day as activity will be reduced under hot conditions, such as the midday sun
  • If excessive thrip numbers are found, prune foliage and damaged fruit – remove any affected fruit and do not leave on the ground. This will help prevent neighbouring crops from being infected
  • If thrip levels are extremely high, consider using conventional chemistry to control the numbers initially, and follow up with biorationals to keep pest levels low
  • Be aware of compatibility between your products, for example Botanigard can be tank mixed with both Eradicoat and Karma

For more information on Botanigard and other biorational products in our range contact us.