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Low prices equal less ATD
Try not to become side tracked
You could be forgiven to becoming side tracked from important plant health issues with the threat of Coronavirus gripping our thoughts. Attention to detail (ATD) may be compromised especially with the added low returns effecting motivation.
The warm weather has seen a spike in whitefly and TPP reports. Remaining vigilant is important. I would not want is to have a battle against whitefly in winter. Thrips are still visible on some crops. The good news is that caterpillars have not been any wear near as rampant as last season.
Control rodent populations. Just this week I have trapped four juvenile rats. My six bait stations around my house are being stripped nightly.
With low prices there could be a temptation to ease heating requirements. For crops pre-planned as long crops, consider the effects on your plants if you don’t heat adequately now. You may be opening yourself up to a major fungal battle in the coming months. Rain is forecast so the relative lack of fungal pressure could quickly swing. On that note I have witnessed powdery mildew on tomato crops in the past two weeks.
Maintaining the adequate levels of EC is critical for plant balance. If you are tempted to reduce inputs you may face extra issues in the winter.
Please consider increasing your hygiene levels. Even if you think you currently have high levels and effective precautions, no company is immune to the risk of virus entering their properties in some form. The last thing this industry needs is to have a worker testing positive for COVID-19. Follow government guidelines and please read the fantastic information currently provided by Horticulture NZ https://www.hortnz.co.nz/news-events-and-media/media-releases/covid-19-update-for-horticulture/
I also recommend this free App being offered by Bumpercrop news/post/bumpercrop-offers-free-covid-19-staff-checklist-app-to-greenhouses/
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Article Written and compiled by Stefan Vogrincic, Consultant, Grower2Grower
Article Edited by Marie Vogrincic, Editor, Grower2Grower