Our Research

BioResEd conducts scientific research using the expertise of its qualified team in conjunction with the experience, enthusiasm and practical skills of growers.

 

The Inter Row project

From 2017-2020 our team at BioResEd conducted a project we termed ‘The Inter Row Project’, funded by Hort Innovation as part of a large program in Integrated Pest Management for the macadamia industry.

During this project, we worked in partnership with 11 macadamia growers from five macadamia growing regions in Australia to find practical ways of incorporating inter row insectaries into their orchards and monitoring to quantify potential risks and benefits.

Other findings

  • Having an inter row insectary will not lead to other challenges such as rats, weeds and/or an insect pest reservoir with basic monitoring and management
  • Decisions to include insectaries in the inter row must be accompanied by planning and strategies for managed diversity and considerations of individual farm variations
  • Dedicated cover cropping practices (as opposed to reduced mowing practices without seeding) were found to have substantially better results in terms of its potential for conservation biological control

Above: Total number of parasitoid wasps collected from treatment blocks with cover cropped inter rows vs. control blocks with close mown inter rows at a macadamia orchard in Northern Rivers (shown right). The cover crop environment supports more parasitoids in both the inter-row and the trees. This can potentially lead to conservation biological control of macadamia pests.

Above: Comparison of simplified feeding guilds of sampled arthropods- prey, predators, parasitoids and nectarivores (potential pollinators) in treatment blocks with cover cropped inter rows vs. control blocks with close mown inter rows at a macadamia orchard in Northern Rivers (shown right). Significantly higher numbers of beneficial arthropods were collected in cover cropped treatment blocks.

To read the full report please click here

Above: Cover cropped block at a macadamia orchard in Northern Rivers; June 2019. Mix includes tillage radish, perennial ryegrass, millet and vetch

Above: Complete close mown block at a macadamia orchard in Northern Rivers; June 2019