Organizations in the News, Pests and Diseases

New Zealand: Horticulture welcomes decision to allow biological control of psyllid

Horticulture New Zealand welcomes a decision by the Environmental Protection Authority to allow the release of a bug which will act as a natural control against the devastating Tomato Potato Psyllid. The ‘TPP’ has caused enormous problems for the potato, tomato, capsicum and tamarillo growers in New Zealand since it was discovered here in 2006. Since then the industry has been waging a battle to control it. One option to assist with controlling this pest is to use biological controls like Tamarixia, a tiny wasp that lays its eggs on the psyllid, which then hatch and eat the psyllid. “The potato industry has been seriously affected by the tomato potato psyllid with annual costs to control psyllid estimated at $25 million per year on top of normal production expenses,” Potatoes NZ chief executive Chris Claridge says. The industry believes the use of a biological control agent such as Tamarixia will result not only in significant savings in control costs but also improvements in production volumes and quality. More

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