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UCP 5 - Orchard | NEW ZEALAND

Neofabraea alba (Fungus)

Pest Challenges

Neofabraea alba creates ‘rotting patches’ on apples (“Bull’s eye rot disease”). The disease causes rotting of fruit tissue after harvest (from on-tree infections) in the cool store, which can cause 60% to 80% of fruit losses, depending on growing conditions, variety and pre-harvest fungicide treatment.

Fruit infections on the tree are latent and cannot be detected with current sensing technology. However the spores in and around the air of orchards can be collected in this Use Case Pilot (WP4) with STELLA’s automated samplers (WP2), and the risks of latent infection will be targeted in the risk-modeling of the project (WP3).

Region Challenges

Hawke’s Bay is the largest apple growing region in New Zealand. The intensive fruit cropping in the region is associated with a well-developed infrastructure (well trained growers, respected consultants, effective service contractors, pack houses, export logistics etc.). Fruit production is one of the key economic drivers in the region.

UCP plan

For the New Zealand UCP in the Hawke’s Bay region (apple), a minimum of three different orchards will be selected in diverse zones, in order to investigate potential presence and outbreak level of the pest. A second region (Nelson/Motueka) may be added, if not sufficient variation is accessible for the project in the Hawkes Bay region.