Fodder brassicas have become increasingly important in New Zealand in recent years because of the growth of the dairy industry there. IPM in fodder brassicas however is a relatively recent development and IPM Technologies is working with Plant and Food Research to demonstrate in several commercial crops just how it can be done.
Paul Horne from IPM Technologies and Abie Horrocks from The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research held a field day in early December near Geraldine (south of Christchurch) at a site where a collaborating farmer has compared a conventional (insecticide spray-based) approach to controlling insect pests with an IPM approach relying on biological control and fewer, selective insecticides only. The trials have been successful with good control of pests and reduced insecticide applications. Both farmers and advisors were invited to attend and see the results and discuss the results and approach taken.
In addition to the field day, Paul and Abie also ran two short workshops on the topic for advisors who work with fodder and seed brassica growers.
This project is funded by the Ministry for Primary Industries Sustainable Farming Fund, with support from The Foundation for Arable Research, Forage Innovations and DuPont.