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Apple Futures: New Zealand's low pesticide residue apple production programme

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Apple Futures: New Zealand's low pesticide residue apple production programme

Abstract

Apple Futures was a 3-year initiative (2008-10) to implement a low pesticide residue production system for New Zealand apple growers targeting European Union (EU) supermarket food safety initiatives. Its objectives included reducing pesticide residues to ≤10% of the EU maximum residue limit and a maximum of three residues detected in any sample. By 2010, >65% of export crops were grown following the Apple Futures programme that maximised early season disease management, re-positioned all pesticide use to minimise residues and increased use of non-insecticidal methods. No insecticide residues were detected in 72% of crops while the remainder had very low residues. New Zealand's maritime climate restricted disease management outcomes; low residues of captan were found in most crops, only 9% had no fungicide residues. An economic analysis of Apple Futures found no impact on production costs, while it preserved $113M in market revenue from EU exports between 2008 and 2011.
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Insects & diseases in apples & fruit
New Zealand Plant Protection 68: 282-290 (2015)www.nzpps.org
J.T.S. Walker1, N.M. Park1 and M.R. Butcher2
1The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Limited, Private Bag 1401, Havelock
North 4157, New Zealand
2Pipfruit New Zealand Inc. (Retired), Parua Bay RD 4, Whangarei 0174, New Zealand
Corresponding author: Jim.walker@plantandfood.co.nz
Abstract Apple Futures was a 3-year initiative (2008–10) to implement a low pesticide
residue production system for New Zealand apple growers targeting European Union (EU)
supermarket food safety initiatives. Its objectives included reducing pesticide residues to
10% of the EU maximum residue limit and a maximum of three residues detected in any
sample. By 2010, >65% of export crops were grown following the Apple Futures programme
that maximised early season disease management, re-positioned all pesticide use to
minimise residues and increased use of non-insecticidal methods. No insecticide residues
were detected in 72% of crops while the remainder had very low residues. New Zealand’s
maritime climate restricted disease management outcomes; low residues of captan were
found in most crops, only 9% had no fungicide residues. An economic analysis of Apple
Futures found no impact on production costs, while it preserved $113M in market revenue
from EU exports between 2008 and 2011.
Keywords New Zealand apples, Apple Futures, insecticides, fungicides, residue profile.
Apple Futures: New Zealand’s low pesticide residue
apple production programme
INTRODUCTION
The export-dominated New Zealand apple sector
is challenged by frequent changes in marketing
and regulatory sanitary and phytosanitary
requirements to maintain access to over 65
international markets. In the mid 1990s, it was
challenged by food safety scares in the UK that
led to new restrictions on pesticide use and a
demand for more environmentally responsible
production systems. The sector responded in
1996 with the introduction of an Integrated Fruit
Production (IFP) programme (Batchelor et al.
1997; Manktelow et al. 1997; Walker et al. 1997,
1998) that by the late 1990s had transformed
the entire crop protection system for apples.
New monitoring systems eliminated calendar
applications and this resulted in significantly
reduced total pesticide use (Walker et al. 2009),
while a change from broad-spectrum to selective
pesticides greatly increased the contribution
of biological control (Shaw & Wallis 2008).
Now >90% of apple exports are grown in
accordance with the IFP programme while the
balance of export production is grown following
internationally accredited organic standards.
From the early 2000s, European supermarkets
continued to expand their environmental and food
safety compliance programmes (e.g. GLOBAL
G.A.P. (2015)) to ensure the integrity of their food
safety programmes. The New Zealand pipfruit
IFP programme had introduced major benefits
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Insects & diseases in apples & fruit
for growers, the environment and consumer
food safety. However, in 2005, in response to
the actions of food safety groups, a number of
UK and EU supermarkets began to implement
private pesticide residue reduction standards; up
to 50–70% less than the allowable EU regulatory
maximum residue levels (MRLs). While many
European growers viewed this demand for produce
with lower than the legally approved residues as
a threat, New Zealand growers identified this as
a potential marketing opportunity that might
also simplify the complexity of managing residue
compliance into different global markets.
In 2006, following a strategic review
(Innomarc 2006) and pilot testing of low-residue
crop protection regimes, the sector set out to
implement a practical production system for
apples that resulted in ultra low, or even zero,
residues on fruit at harvest. Known as Apple
Futures’, this programme was funded by New
Zealand Trade and Enterprise and the sector
(Pipfruit NZ Inc.) for 3 years (2008–10), with a
total cost of approximately $3.2M. The specific
objectives of the Apple Futures programme
included: (1) reducing average residue levels to
10% of the EU MRL for each pesticide and (2)
reducing the number of residues detected in any
export consignment to three or fewer.
By 2006, several of the sector’s research projects
had already evaluated specific low-residue pest
and disease management options for apple black
spot (Venturia inaequalis), the most important
pathogen, and codling moth (Cydia pomonella),
the major phytosanitary insect pest. In spring 2007
the new Apple Futures programme integrated
these strategies into a low-residue approach that
included: (1) ensuring highly effective early-season
strategies for pathogen control, (2) restricting the
use or extending the pre-harvest interval of the
more residual pesticides, (3) greater use of non-
residual methods for pest control (e.g. pheromone
mating disruption), (4) limiting pesticide
options in mid/late summer with priority given
to less residual or biological pesticides and (5)
developing residue decay profiles for all major
pesticides to determine probable intervals to
achieve nil detectable residues at harvest.
In the first season (2007–08), 85 growers
based mostly in Hawke’s Bay and Otago,
participated in the Apple Futures programme. It
included: (1) adherence to new crop protection
regimes, (2) supply of spray diary information
and (3) supply of fruit to a comprehensive
residue-testing programme. Grower confidence
for low-residue crop protection regimes was
assisted by specialist-led crop protection training
programmes. Growers also had access to new
crop disease risk prediction models and new
residue management information and tools via
the sector’s website. Three regional coordinators
(the Nelson region joined the programme in
year two) also identified and responded to
local crop protection issues and assisted with
the collection of fruit samples for the residue
testing programme. Annual reviews of Apple
Futures residue performance were presented to
growers and, together with their feedback on
fruit quality and residue test outcomes, new or
improved recommendations were supplied to
participating growers in late winter each year. By
2010, 144 growers were involved and >65% of
apples exported were grown following the Apple
Futures programme.
This paper evaluates the consequences of recent
changes in the pipfruit sector’s crop protection
system on the pesticide residue profile of New
Zealand apples, comparing outcomes from the
2000, 2010 and 2014 seasons.
METHODS
Residue testing
Traceability of fruit production w ith full reporting of
spray diary information is a mandatory component
of the sector’s compliance programme to meet
regulatory export certification requirements. Prior
to 2001 residue testing of export apple crops was
undertaken by ENZA. Residue data from their
2000 random residue programme were used for
comparison because the IFP programme was
nearing full implementation and the sector was not
yet responding to any early market demand for fruit
with even lower pesticide residues.
Data from 2010 were used as this was the
final year of Apple Futures implementation
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Insects & diseases in apples & fruit
and represented three seasons of programme
refinement. Recent residue data (2014) are also
presented to confirm the durability of the Apple
Futures programme and the ongoing adaptation
of it by the sector to meet the requirements of
increasingly important Asian export markets.
Identical sample collection procedures and
analytical test methods were used in both ENZA
and Apple Futures residue sampling programmes.
Growers participating in the Apple Futures
programme allowed team members access to their
test results in return for discounted residue test
charges; the number of residue tests completed
each season varied from 399 in 2008 to 1125 in
2010, with increasing grower participation in the
Apple Futures programme. Residue sampling was
completed on both early and late apple cultivars
on each orchard in accordance with CODEX
procedures. Each sample comprised of ~1.5 kg
fruit placed in double polythene bags that were
sent to an accredited analytical laboratory for
processing within 24–48 h. Samples were fully
traceable from each orchard and were collected
from each cultivar block 10 days prior to harvest,
again at harvest and later from packed cartons.
Residue data for the 2000, 2010 and 2014 seasons
reported in this paper were taken from fruit
sampled from packed cartons only.
Up to five analytical methods were used for
residue analysis that were reported in mg/kg:
gas chromatography mass spectrophotometry
(GCMS), liquid chromatography mass
spectrometry (LCMS), dithiocarbamate
fungicides (e.g. metiram, mancozeb, thiram,
ziram) as CS2, dithianon and captan (including
its metabolite tetrahydropthalimide or THPI).
The testing procedures used allowed detection
of some 400 analytes including residues of all
of the active ingredients that were registered for
use on apples in New Zealand, and many more.
Increasing sensitivity of analysis lowered the level
of detection (LOD) for some active ingredients
and this is appropriately identified where this
may have influenced the outcomes.
Data collation and analysis
All pesticides applied to apple crops are fully
traceable through their unique property
identification number and ultimately to
designated blocks within an orchard. This
information is captured each year and stored
within a comprehensive database of pesticide
use. While growers have always had access to
their individual residue test results, the authors
were able to access the residue data linked to
pesticide use in each participating orchard-specific
cultivar block. This allowed analysis of the major
factors contributing to residues present on fruit
at harvest, e.g. the pre-harvest interval (PHI),
the cumulative number of applications or spray
application volumes. All residue data in this paper
are referenced against EU MRLs as a benchmark of
programme performance. Some EU MRLs changed
between 2000 and 2014. Unless stated otherwise, all
references in this paper are benchmarked against
the 2014 EU MRL.
RESULTS
Trends in pesticide use
Pesticide use in the sector declined substantially
between 1996 and 2005 with its transition to IFP
(Figure 1). The frequency of insecticide application
decreased by almost 60% to ~4 applications per
season with growers applying several different
insecticides as part of a resistance management
strategy. Organophosphate insecticides were
increasingly replaced by selective insecticides
(e.g. tebufenozide, indoxacarb). IFP also resulted
in a similar reduction in use of protectant
fungicides (e.g. captan and dithiocarbamates),
use of which declined from ~14 applications to
~6 applications by 2000 (Figure 2).
Residue test results are presented in the
context of these changes to the frequency of
insecticide and fungicide applications on apple
crops nationally. In 2010, the final season of Apple
Futures implementation, 25 active ingredients
were recorded across sector spray diaries but only
18 were detected in residue tests and 8 of these
were rare detections. Therefore, only data (Figure
3) for active ingredients that were found in 3%
of the fruit samples tested in any one of the three
seasons (2000, 2010 and 2014) are presented.
The mean values of the residues detected in these
positive tests are presented for each of the active
ingredients in Figure 4.
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Insects & diseases in apples & fruit
Pesticide residues in 2000
Despite near sector-wide implementation of
IFP in 2000, azinphosmethyl residues were still
detected in 20% of residue tests with a mean
residue of 0.10 mg/kg or 20% of the EU MRL
in 2000 (Figure 3). Azinphosmethyl has not
been used on New Zealand pipfruit since 2001.
Chlorpyrifos was also detected in 42% of tests
with a mean value of 0.05 mg/kg or 10% of the
EU MRL (Figure 4). The 2001 cancellation of
chlorpyrifos use on apples in the USA eliminated
all subsequent post-flowering use on New Zealand
apple crops. Carbaryl (applied for crop thinning)
was present in 5% of residue tests in 2000 but
this declined to 0.2% of tests by 2014. The
reduction in carbaryl use was brought about
by the effective withdrawal of the EU MRL,
which was reduced to the limit of detection
(LOD) of 0.05 mg/kg. The absence of an EU
MRL for tebufenozide in 2000 meant that it was
not reported as a residue in that year, but by 2003
the frequency of tebufenozide residues detected
had increased to 97% of tests with a mean residue
was 0.07 mg/kg (J.T.S. Walker, unpublished
data). The insecticides methoxyfenozide,
chlorantraniloprole, thiacloprid and spirotetramat
were neither registered nor available for use on
apples in 2000.
The dithiocarbamate fungicide group (e.g.
mancozeb, metiram) and dodine were the
dominant fungicide residues in 2000, detected
in 76% and 68% of residues tests respectively
(Figure 3). The mean residues in positive
dithiocarbamate and dodine tests was 0.22 mg/
kg and 0.18 mg/kg respectively (Figure 4) or just
7% and 18% of the 2014 EU MRL respectively
(Figure 5). The low frequency of captan residues
(16% of tests) was associated with low use in
2000 due to a lack of captan residue tolerances
in Taiwan in 2000.
Figure 1 Mean insecticide use on
apples (‘Braeburn’) nationally.
Organophosphate use declined
as use of selective and biological
products increased following
implementation of Integrated
Fruit Production (1996-2001) and
Apple Futures (2008-10). Selective
insecticides included insect growth
regulators, neonicotinyl and
ryanidone compounds, biological
insecticides included codling moth
granulosis virus, spinosad and
emamectin benzoate.
Figure 2 Mean protectant fungicide
(captan and dithiocarbamate)
and dodine use on apples
(‘Braeburn’) nationally following
implementation of Integrated Fruit
Production (1996-2001) and Apple
Futures (2008-10).
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Insects & diseases in apples & fruit
Residue profiles following Apple Futures
Since the introduction of IFP, codling moth
has become the primary target of insecticides
applied to New Zealand apple crops. To
reduce the frequency of residue detection and
residue values, Apple Futures restricted use of
residual insecticides, including tebufenozide
and methoxyfenozide, to early summer so
consequently these were only detected in 5% and
<1% of samples respectively at the completion of
the programme in 2010 (Figure 3). By 2014 their
frequency of detection had increased to 19% and
5% of samples respectively, driven by an increasing
proportion of export crops being targeted for
markets with a nil tolerance for codling moth
(e.g. Asia). The mean value of these residues was
0.03 and 0.04 mg/kg respectively (Figure 4) or
3% and 2% of the 2014 EU MRL respectively
(Figure 5). Residues of chlorantraniloprole, used
by growers until mid summer, have remained
relatively rare, being detected in just 4% of tests
in 2014. Thiacloprid residues were detected
in 18% of tests in 2010 with a mean residue of
0.03 mg/kg or 10% of the EU MRL. The long
residual life of thiacloprid residues, together with
growers trying to reduce the count of detectable
residues in their crops, resulted in them being
detected in just 0.5% of tests in 2014. While
spirotetramat was not registered for use on apples
in 2010, use of this selective insecticide for apple
leafcurling midge (Dasyneura mali) control has
increased since 2011, and residues were detected
in 20% of 2014 samples with a mean residue of
0.02 mg/kg, or 2% of the EU MRL.
Figure 4 The mean
residue (mg/kg) in
positive residue tests
for the most commonly
detected pesticides on
apples in 2000 (n=297)
and following the
introduction of the
Apple Futures ultra-
low residue production
programme in 2010
(n=392) compared to
2014 (n=407).
Figure 3 The frequency
of pesticide active
ingredients detected in
residue tests conducted
on New Zealand
apples in 2000 (n=297)
and following the
introduction of the
Apple Futures ultra-
low residue production
programme in 2010
(n=392) compared to
2014 (n=407).
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Insects & diseases in apples & fruit
Apple Futures disease management emphasised
the need for highly effective spring and early
summer control to prevent primary V. inaequalis
ascospore infections becoming the source of
secondary conidial infection, and thereby reducing
the need for fungicide applications in late summer.
Minimising the count of residues in fruit samples
also required growers to try and limit the number
of fungicide active ingredients they applied in mid
and late summer. To achieve this, captan became
growers’ fungicide of choice for late summer
disease management, consequently detections rose
to 86% of samples by 2010 and 93% by 2014. Some
of this small increase in captan can be attributed
to the inclusion of its metabolite THPI in the 2014
residue testing and reporting procedures. The mean
value of these residues was 0.27 and 0.43 mg/kg or
9% and 14% of the 2014 EU MRL respectively.
By restricting dithiocarbamate fungicide use to
spring and early summer, the frequency of these
residues in tests declined sharply to 21% in 2010
and just 12% in 2014; the mean residues detected
in 2014 were 0.03 mg/kg or 3% of the EU MRL.
New dodine fungicide resistance management
guidelines (Beresford et al. 2013) combined with
more effective early summer black spot control by
growers resulted in its detection in just 6% of tests
in 2014 with a mean residue of 0.04 mg/kg or 4%
of the EU MRL. Myclobutanil residues were not
detected in either 2000 or 2014 but occurred in 9%
of tests in 2010 at just 0.02 mg/kg or 4% of the EU
MRL. Similarly boscalid residues (a component of
Pristine®) were detected in 2010 at just 0.02 mg/kg,
or 1% of the EU MRL.
A high proportion of samples tested (93%)
met the UK/EU supermarket requirements of
3 residues in 2010 (Figure 6), the final year of
the Apple Futures implementation programme.
Insecticide residues were not detected on 72% of
samples tested while a further 24% of samples
had just one residue detected. These were mostly
extremely low residues of spirotetramat or
tebufenozide, just above their LOD. In contrast,
very few samples (9%) were without fungicide
residues, but a further 52% of samples had just
one fungicide residue detected, mostly very low
residues of captan (9% of the EU MRL).
DISCUSSION
While the MRL represents the highest acceptable
level of a residue in food or produce that can be
consumed by a person on a daily basis over an
entire lifetime, without harm, Apple Futures was
the apple sector’s response to increasing consumer
demand for produce with either no, or ultra-low
residues. By minimising all pesticide residues, it
simultaneously addressed two important issues
for New Zealand apple growers; it turned a threat
posed by EU demand for low-residue fruit into
a marketing opportunity while also eliminating
most of the global market residue and compliance
difficulties that had confronted this export-focused
sector. The programme goals, residues 10%
of the EU MRL and 3 residues on 93% of fruit
Figure 5 The mean
residue expressed
as a percentage of
the 2014 European
maximum residue
level for the most
commonly detected
pesticides on apples
for 2000, 2010 and
2014.
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Insects & diseases in apples & fruit
samples, were achieved, while grower support and
adoption of Apple Futures increased throughout
the 3-year programme. The strategic re-positioning
of insecticide use, combined with greater use of
biological pesticides and mating disruption (Lo et
al. 2013), enabled most growers to achieve either
no (72% of crops) or ultra-low insecticide residues
(~3% of the regulatory EU MRL) in 2010. The risk
of wet weather diseases is relatively high in New
Zealand’s maritime climate so fungicide residues
were more widespread. Only 9% of crops were free
of fungicide residues in 2010. Nevertheless these
residues, usually captan, were consistently low, ~9%
of the regulatory EU MRL.
A published analysis by USDA of residues found
on domestic and imported apples in the USA
market in 2010 identified New Zealand apples as
having the lowest average number of residues per
sample (3.22) when compared to domestic (5.37)
and Chilean fruit (4.78) (Warner 2012). New
Zealand apples were also reported as having a 14-
to 28-fold lower dietary risk index stating that they:
‘had very few residues and posed only a slightly
higher risk than organic apples’ (Warner 2012).
An economic analysis of the Apple Futures in
2010 provided another illustration of the success
of the programme. This found that Apple Futures
had no impact on production costs, but at a cost
of $NZ3.2M, it preserved $113M in market
revenue between 2008 and 2011 (Kaye-Blake &
Zuccollo 2012). Kaye-Blake & Zuccollo’s analysis
concluded that, in each year of the programme,
industry returns would have been between
$25M and $35M lower without Apple Futures,
or 7–10% of the industry’s total revenue at that
time. The benefit-cost ratio for the programme,
assuming the otherwise significant loss of the
Northern European markets, was greater than 30.
After three seasons of evaluating Apple Futures
crop protection outcomes combined with
comprehensive residue testing, it was apparent that
an ultra-low residue production system was a more
realistic outcome for New Zealand apple growers
than a ‘zero residue’ programme. Furthermore, any
inconsistencies in either grower performance or
variable seasonal disease risks, and new advances
in residue detection technology, could potentially
threaten future claims of ‘zero-residue’ produce.
Small increases in the frequency of both selective
insecticide and fungicide use and residues occurred
in 2014, driven by a shift in emphasis towards the
increasing focus on Asian markets (tebufenozide for
codling moth and spirotetramat for apple leafcurling
midge) rather than any reduction in grower support
for their ultra-low residue programme.
The earlier introduction of the IFP
programme underpinned the success of the
Apple Futures programme as it had all but
eliminated organophosphate and broad-
spectrum insecticide use by 2001. While this
Figure 6 The percentage
of insecticide, fungicide
and total residues found in
packed carton fruit samples
tested (n=341) during
the final year of the Apple
Futures implementation
programme (2010). The
distribution of insecticide
and fungicide residues is
independent, so are not
necessarily additive when
compounded into the total
residues across all of the
samples tested.
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Insects & diseases in apples & fruit
change to more benign or selective insecticides
was welcomed by growers, these insecticides
were generally more persistent so that by 2003,
some (e.g. tebufenozide) could be detected on
most of the crops sampled, albeit at very low
levels. Nevertheless, IFP had increased growers’
willingness to embrace change and encouraged
increasing adoption of tactics that were important
to achieve the very significant Apple Futures pest
management outcomes. This included greater
use of residue-free control methods (e.g. mating
disruption, biological pesticides and biological
control) and limiting the use of any residual,
selective insecticides to early summer.
Within the context of New Zealand’s maritime
climate, IFP disease management options were
more constrained. Most of the 40% reduction
in fungicide loading in IFP (Walker 2009) was
achieved by reducing the number of protectant
fungicide applications; from ~14 in 1996 to ~6
in 2000 and targeting applications to the major
primary infection periods in spring and early
summer. Less effective black spot control with this
strategy on many orchards, together with res istance
to some key fungicide groups (Beresford et al.
2013; Viljanen-Rollinson et al. 2013) and more
stringent phytosanitary requirements in some
markets, resulted in a resurgence of protectant
fungicide use throughout the primary infection
period under Apple Futures. Consequently, to
minimise the count of residues on fruit, captan
has become the primary protectant fungicide
applied from early summer and therefore the
most commonly detected residue at harvest,
albeit at very low quantities.
The New Zealand apple sector has always
produced apple crops with relatively low
pesticide residues and has met the high standards
of phytosanitary performance needed for export
certification and access into all international
markets. The success of the Apple Futures
programmes, together with strong demand for
ultra-low residue fruit by European supermarkets,
has meant that this has now become the de facto
crop protection standard used by New Zealand
growers. A combination of high phytosanitary
performance together with low pesticide residues
has been invaluable to apple growers, as it has
provided them with greater financial returns
through the increased flexibility to respond to
commercial opportunities in all the international
target markets. An important factor in the
success of this ultra-low residue programme has
been the absence from New Zealand of some of
the major global pests of fruit crops. The future
challenge for both the sector and New Zealand’s
border security programme will be to protect the
economic, environmental and food safety gains
achieved with this crop protection system from
the increasing biosecurity risks arising from the
globalisation of trade.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The authors would like to express their
sincere thanks to the many co-operators in
this project, especially growers who willingly
embraced innovative change, shared spray diary
information and residue test results through
Pipfruit New Zealand Inc. Funding support
for the Apple Futures project came from both
the sector Pipfruit NZ Inc. and NZ Trade and
Enterprise working alongside the regional
development agencies of Hawke’s Bay, Nelson
and Central Otago District. We would like to
thank Apple Futures team members for their
support including John Austin-Smith, Todd
Wiffen, Jason Smith and Jenny Fraser. On behalf
of the sector, we would also like to acknowledge
Mr Julian Raine for his vision and support
of a low-residue programme that led to the
development of Apple Futures.
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... Apple exports began during the 1890s to the United Kingdom but are now shipped to more than 70 countries. The industry is recognized as a world leader (61), and innovation has contributed to this success, including new cultivar development, high production efficiency, and low-residue crop protection systems (110,117). Innovation has been fostered by an industry structure and organization that included single-desk marketing until 2001 and a high dependency on export markets; both have shaped the progress of apple pest management in New Zealand. ...
... The industry identified low-residue production as an opportunity that could address in one step the complexity of international residue compliances for global marketing. In 2007, the industry implemented an ultralow-residue program, named Apple Futures, on 85 orchards, with the goal of reducing average residue levels to ≤10% of the EU MRL (110). The pest management component emphasized use of nonresidual pest control (Figure 1a), including biological control and mating disruption. ...
... Comprehensive technical support enabled growers to manage the crop protection risks (62) so that by 2010, >65% of apples exported were grown using the Apple Futures program. Limiting use of residual insecticides to early summer, combined with greater use of biological pesticides and mating disruption (50), enabled most growers to achieve either nondetectable (72% of crops) or ultralow insecticide residues, averaging ∼3% of the regulatory EU MRL in 2010 (110). An economic analysis of Apple Futures in 2010 found that it had no impact on production costs but contributed to an additional NZ$113 million in market revenue between 2008 and 2011 (42). ...
Article
This review describes the New Zealand apple industry's progression from 1960s integrated pest control research to today's comprehensive integrated pest management system. With the exception of integrated mite control implemented during the 1980s, pest control on apple crops was dominated by intensive organophosphate insecticide regimes to control tortricid leafrollers. Multiple pest resistances to these insecticides by the 1990s, and increasing consumer demand for lower pesticide residues on fruit, led to the implementation of integrated fruit production. This substantially eliminated organophosphate insecticide use by 2001, replacing it with pest monitoring systems, threshold-based selective insecticides, and biological control. More recently, new demands for ultralow-residue fruit have increased the adoption of mating disruption and use of biological insecticides. Widespread adoption of selective pest management has substantially reduced the status of previously important pests, including leafrollers, mealybugs, leafhoppers, and mites for improved phytosanitary performance, and contributed to major reductions in total insecticide use.
... Pesticide use on apple orchards in New Zealand (8566 ha planted in 2015 (Anon, 2015a)), has decreased markedly over the last 20 years with the adoption of an Integrated Fruit Production (IFP) programme ( Walker et al., 2017), and, more recently, growers of apples for export to Europe have adopted 'Apple Futures', a new ultra-low pesticide residue programme ( Walker et al., 2015). Residue-free pest control options such as pheromone-based mating disruption ( Walker et al., 2013) and biopesticides have also been adopted by some growers, and others use certified organic growing systems (about 6% of New Zealand's current apple production is certified as organic (Anon, 2015a)). ...
... Pest control practices in New Zealand apple IFP programmes have changed dramatically since the 1990s ( Walker et al., 2015Walker et al., , 2009Walker et al., , 2017 and so changes in invertebrate diversity might also be expected. In 1995-96, a survey of arthropod diversity in apple orchards in the Canterbury region of New Zealand ( Suckling et al., 1999) indicated that orchards managed under an organic regime (termed 'biological fruit production' or BFP) supported a higher diversity of arthropods than those managed under the IFP system of that time, although the 'fauna' in each system were 80-90% similar. ...
Article
On-farm biodiversity is increasingly perceived as an indicator of sustainable practices. However, in-depth examinations of the influence of management on the components of this diversity (specific taxa, feeding guilds, pests, ecosystem service providers, native taxa, and so on) are still lacking for many crops and growing regions. To compare the diversity of invertebrates in commercial apple orchards using three different pest management systems (Integrated Fruit Production with or without codling moth mating disruption and certified organic), we collected taxa from five of each type of orchard in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand. We used pitfall traps, branch tapping and sticky traps to collect 210,829 specimens, representing 764 taxa, during two sampling sessions: December 2011 and February/March 2012. Groundcover plant communities in the alleys between tree rows were not detectably different among the three orchard types. Multivariate analysis showed that the composition of invertebrate communities sampled from organic orchards differed significantly from those in orchards using the two different integrated pest management systems and that the use of codling moth disruption in the integrated systems had no discernible impact on invertebrate biodiversity in those orchards. Sub-group analysis revealed some differences between integrated and organic orchards for herbivores, predators and parasitoids, but not omnivores, detritivores and fungivores. Native or endemic species comprised 40% of taxa in all three orchard types, and there were no detectable differences in the composition of these assemblages among orchards. Assemblages of apple pests in organic orchards differed significantly from those in the other orchard types, but this effect was lost if Edwardsiana froggatti, which was abundant in organic orchards, was omitted from the analysis. All orchard types had similar assemblages of key natural enemies, suggesting that current integrated pest management systems employed on apple orchards in New Zealand have similar impacts to organic systems in this respect.
... The export-dominated New Zealand apple sector has responded to increasing market demands for both ultra-low residue fruit and strict phytosanitary requirements from more than 60 countries and has successfully dealt with codling moth for over 100 years [17]. Implementation of the Integrated Fruit Production (IFP) program in New Zealand apple crops, followed by ultra-low residue initiatives [18] has led to the elimination of organophosphate, neonicotinyl, and carbamate insecticide use, and resulted in the widespread adoption of selective pest management [17]. This program has substantially reduced the status of previously important pests [17]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Codling moth, Cydia pomonella (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), is a phytosanitary pest of New Zealand's export apples. The sterile insect technique supplements other controls in an eradication attempt at an isolated group of orchards in Hawke's Bay, New Zealand. There has been no attempt in New Zealand to characterize potential sources of uncontrolled peri-urban populations, which we predicted to be larger than in managed orchards. We installed 200 pheromone traps across Hastings city, which averaged 0.32 moths/trap/week. We also mapped host trees around the pilot eradication orchards and installed 28 traps in rural Ongaonga, which averaged 0.59 moths/trap/week. In Hastings, traps in host trees caught significantly more males than traps in non-host trees, and spatial interpolation showed evidence of spatial clustering. Traps in orchards operating the most stringent codling moth management averaged half the catch rate of Hastings peri-urban traps. Orchards with less rigorous moth control had a 5-fold higher trap catch rate. We conclude that peri-urban populations are significant and ubiquitous, and that special measures to reduce pest prevalence are needed to achieve area-wide suppression and reduce the risk of immigration into export orchards. Because the location of all host trees in Hastings is not known, it could be more cost-effectively assumed that hosts are ubiquitous across the city and the area treated accordingly.
... The response included: monitoring spore levels in pasture; changing grazing practices to reduce livestock exposure to spores; fungicide applications to pasture; treatment of livestock with zinc; and selective breeding of livestock to increase genetic resistance (Di Menna et al. 2009). The apple export industry in New Zealand has also transitioned successfully to an IPM system to meet market requirements for high quality produce with minimal pesticide residues (Walker et al. 2015). Pastoral insect pests are often managed using broad spectrum insecticides, with approximately 79 tonnes of active ingredient applied to pasture in 2004, comprising mainly organophosphates and carbamates (Chapman 2010). ...
Article
Full-text available
New Zealand’s pastoral sector faces significant challenges to pest management as long-standing insecticides are deregistered. To protect their pastures, farmers need to shift from reactive responses that lead to poor economic outcomes to pre-emptive responses that are viable in the long term. Current management practices (insecticides, endophytes, biological control) for New Zealand’s pasture insect pests were assessed from the perspective of Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Potential impacts from novel control strategies and emerging digital technologies were evaluated to determine how these could improve pest management. Cryptic IPM is present within the New Zealand pastoral sector: that is, farmers practise various elements of IPM but these elements are not integrated into a cohesive system, so farmers often fail to recognise pest impacts until significant economic losses have occurred. We identified important networks by which farmers, industry and researchers communicate and share information, and can develop strategies to raise awareness of IPM. To encourage adoption, farmers need to feel ownership of pasture IPM. Investment in IPM training for farmers through industry extension networks is essential to prepare farmers for the shift away from chemical insecticides to new biologically based control methods. Adoption of IPM will help pastoralists respond to current and new pest challenges.
... Under current Integrated Fruit Production (IFP) protocols, apple growers apply insecticides three to eight times a season for codling moth, depending on their use of mating disruption (Walker et al. 2013). Mating disruption with a multiple species product supports pest suppression and helps to provide market access without insecticide residues for a significant portion of growers (Walker et al. 2015). SIT in conjunction with other insect controls could further reduce the frequency of insecticide use and residential concern. ...
Article
Full-text available
The sterile insect technique (SIT) is increasingly being evaluated as a potential complementary strategy for pest suppression or elimination. New Zealand's export fruit sector has an imperative to meet strict international phytosanitary requirements, together with increasing market demand for residue-free produce. SIT is a pest-specific method of insect control that can complement current Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies. Successful SIT presents significant challenges: the target pest must be a good candidate for suppression, and strong stakeholder and community commitment is required to achieve and maintain suppression until area-wide elimination is achieved. Emerging sterilisation technologies and refinement of existing methods are making this technology progressively more efficient and cost-effective. This study reviewed the advantages of including SIT in an IPM programme and described the first use of codling moth SIT in New Zealand. A pilot programme is currently underway to evaluate its potential to achieve local elimination of codling moth in Central Hawke's Bay apple orchards.
... Weather data are widely used in plant protection and plant science. Within PFR the most common areas for use of weather data are in sustainable fruit and crop production, for example Hall & Snelgar (2008), and crop protection, for example in low-pesticide production (Agnew et al. 2004;Beresford 2010;Walker et al. 2015). This paper describes the network of weather stations owned by PFR, which are situated both on PFR research orchards and on private orchards, and the use of these data in plant disease research and management. ...
Article
Full-text available
For over 25 years The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Ltd (PFR) and its antecedents have operated a network of weather stations in the main New Zealand horticultural regions. Data from these stations have been applied to the analysis of trials and surveys, and used for the development of disease models and horticultural software. Access to the data has evolved from direct links between each weather station's dial-up modem and the user's computer, to standalone MetWatch software, to the web-based MetWatch Online, and finally to the current Internet Protocol (IP)-based system allowing direct-access via smartphones. The most recent network upgrade, to provide near real-time data via the 3G cellular network, provides the focus for this review of the network and its applications. We discuss opportunities for future development of equipment within the weather station network.
... Later, a single dispenser targetting these leafrollers was developed (Suckling et al. 2012a), but it took the combination single dispenser against four insects (addition of codling moth to the dispenser with three other leafrollers) (Lo et al. 2013) to achieve economic control and significant industry adoption (Fig. 1). Success with the product called « 4-Play ™» has seen the adoption built on all the processes established with Apple Futures, including the dissemination methods used in the earlier integrated fruit production (IFP) program (Walker et al. 2015b). ...
Article
Full-text available
Straight-chained lepidopteran pheromones are now regulated under a group standard in New Zealand, which is generic for moth pheromone products of similar low risk, under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act (1996). This means that compliant new pheromone products can be developed and commercialized with low regulatory requirements. This encourages innovation and supports fruit industries interested in meeting export phytosanitary standards, while targeting low or nil residues of pesticides. Changes to pheromone blends for reasons such as technical improvements or variations in pest species composition in different crops can be made with minimal regulatory involvement. We illustrate how this system now operates with a four species mating disruption product commercialized in 2012. The odors involved in “4-Play™” consist of a range of components used by codling moth (Cydia pomonella), lightbrown apple moth (Epiphyas postvittana), green-headed leafroller (Planotortrix octo), and brown-headed leafroller (Ctenopseustis obliquana). The development of 4-Play™ illustrates how mating disruption of insects can support industry goals.
Article
The potential for the newly established ichneumonid Mastrus ridens (Horstmann) to provide biological control of codling moth, Cydia pomonella (L.), was simulated by incorporating different rates of parasitism into previously published life tables for a univoltine codling moth population on unsprayed apple trees in Nelson, New Zealand. Simulations over eight years were conducted using high and low initial codling moth densities, as occur respectively on neglected apple trees and commercially managed orchards. Life table simulations without M. ridens served as control treatments for comparison with simulations that included various rates of parasitism by each of the estimated three annual generations of the parasitoid. Based on the percentage parasitism recorded in New Zealand and the international literature, M. ridens is projected by the models to provide a valuable reduction of codling moth populations on neglected host trees in Nelson and thereby reduce the numbers of immigrant adult moths invading commercial apple orchards. In contrast, the codling moth is maintained at such extremely low densities within commercial apple orchards growing fruit for export that M. ridens is projected to make only a small contribution to parasitism within the orchard. These simulation results confirm the validity of the rationale for the introduction of M. ridens to New Zealand, which aimed to reduce the numbers of immigrant codling moths arriving in orchards from highly infested and neglected host trees in the wider environment.
Article
Export markets require high-quality fruit, free from insects and mites of quarantine significance, and with minimal or no agrichemical residues. This presents a challenge for New Zealand's pipfruit sector when developing novel pest management systems to meet these market requirements. Brush-bed apple washers are an important component of a systems approach to remove insects and mites in packhouses before fruit are exported. A new apple washer using multi-nozzle rotors significantly reduced the incidence of insects and mites on apples. Weathered residues of kaolin and hydrated lime were similarly reduced by this apple washer. Assessment of fruit quality after apple washing and cool storage did not identify any commercially significant quality issues on the three apple cultivars examined. Apple washer design to optimise pest removal from all locations on the fruit is discussed.
Article
Full-text available
Codling moth (Cydia pomonella) and leafrollers, principally lightbrown apple moth (Epiphyas postvittana), are key pests of apples. Pheromone mating disruption has until now required separate dispensers to be deployed for each pest group. With 600-1000 dispensers per ha for each species, application costs are a signiicant factor limiting the wider adoption of multi-species mating disruption in New Zealand apple orchards. The aim was to integrate the two disruption systems into a single dispenser, and evaluate its performance against that of separate dispensers, in paired block comparisons on four apple orchards. The three measures of effectiveness, pheromone trap catch, suppression of moth mating and fruit damage at harvest, all showed no statistical differences between the two treatments. The performance of the new combination pheromone dispenser was equivalent to that when the two dispensers were deployed separately.
Article
Full-text available
The biological control of some key orchard pests achieved within an Integrated Fruit Production (IFP) apple block was assessed. Insecticide sprays were used to manipulate the numbers of natural enemies. Treatments included applications of the broad-spectrum insecticide carbaryl, a selective insecticide programme (IFP) and a control (no insecticides). Plots treated with carbaryl became heavily infested with woolly apple aphid and European red mite. However, carbaryl sprays did not completely prevent lacewings, ladybirds and the woolly apple aphid parasitoid Aphelinus mali subsequently moving into the plots in response to the high host populations. Numbers of some natural enemies were reduced in the carbaryl treatment and the trees were damaged by mites and woolly apple aphids. The selective and no-insecticide programmes did not disrupt natural enemies and pest levels in trees and fruit were similar and acceptable. INTRODUCTION developed to address increasing consumer concern over pesticide residues in food, and biological control, complemented by a reduction in pesticide use and the adoption of more key orchard pests such as European red mite (Panonychus ulmi woolly apple aphid (Eriosoma lanigerum 1996), apple leafcurling midge (Dasineura mali The aim of the current study was to demonstrate the ability of natural enemies to control arthropod pests in an IFP insecticide programme, and to compare these results with those where a broad-spectrum insecticide, carbaryl, was used in an attempt to disrupt natural enemies. METHODS of arthropod pests and natural enemies for the last four seasons.
Article
The New Zealand horticultural sector has made substantial progress in pesticide risk reduction by implementing sustainability programmes. Apple and winegrape pesticide use was analysed to measure changes in human and aquatic eco-toxicity arising from these initiatives using the Hazardous Substances and New Organism 1996 Act (HSNO) classification system. In 1995 insecticide use on apples and winegrapes was 11.6 and 0.31 kg ai/ha respectively, while fungicide loadings were similar, about 30 kg ai/ha. Since then insecticide loading on apples has decreased by 80% with much lower potential human toxicity. Growers following Integrated Fruit Production guidelines reduced fungicide loadings by 45% but expansion of organic apple production increased the sector's total fungicide use. The wine sector has reduced their total agrichemical loading of insecticides by 72% and fungicides by 62%, mostly through lower use of sulphur fungicides. Both sectors have reduced their use of agrichemicals that are potentially toxic to aquatic ecosystems.
Article
A survey of 41 apple orchards in Hawke's Bay (25), Nelson (7), Otago (4) and Waikato (5) provided 796 isolates of Venturia inaequalis (black spot or scab), which were tested using an agar plate assay for sensitivity to two demethylation inhibitor (DMI) fungicides (myclobutanil and penconazole) and to dodine. Each fungicide was used at two concentrations to distinguish between highly sensitive, sensitive and resistant isolates. Sensitivity to DMIs in all regions was lower than baseline sensitivity in previous studies, particularly for myclobutanil. Waikato showed signiicantly lower DMI sensitivity than other regions. Dodine sensitivity was greater than in the 1990s, although Otago isolates were signiicantly less dodine-sensitive than those from other regions. In a plant inoculation assay to test control by ive DMI fungicides of disease caused by resistant isolates, lusilazol and difenoconazole gave signiicantly better disease control of resistant isolates than myclobutanil, penconazole or fenbuconazole, at standard ield rates.
Article
DNA sequencing and optimisation of allele-specific primers targeting the G143A mutation, which confers resistance in Venturia inaequalis (apple black spot) to quinone outside inhibitor (QoI) fungicides, was used to develop a resistance testing method for orchard surveys. The method confirmed the resistance status of 15 V. inaequalis isolates that were classified as sensitive or resistant to triloxystrobin using a mycelial growth assay. Disease caused by four isolates carrying the G143A mutation was not controlled by the QoI fungicide triloxystrobin in an inoculated potted tree experiment. In a survey of 41 apple orchards in Hawke's Bay, Nelson, Otago and Waikato during 2011-12 the G143A mutation occurred in 54% of 802 V. inaequalis isolates, and 59% of orchards had more than 50% of isolates with the mutation present. The results indicate that orchards with a high G143A mutation frequency can be expected to experience loss of black spot control where QoI fungicides are used.
The economic impact of the Apple Futures programme. The New Zealand Association of Economists
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Kaye-Blake W, Zuccollo J 2012. The economic impact of the Apple Futures programme. The New Zealand Association of Economists, Palmerston North, 27 June 2012. 15 pp.
Integrated Fruit Production (IFP) for New Zealand pipfruit: evaluation of disease management in a pilot programme
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Manktelow DWL, Beresford RM, Hodson AJ, Walker JTS, Batchelor TA, Stiefel HE, Horner I 1997. Integrated Fruit Production (IFP) for New Zealand pipfruit: evaluation of disease management in a pilot programme. Proceedings of 50 th New Zealand Plant Protection Conference: 252-257.
Integrated Fruit Production (IFP) for New Zealand pipfruit: evaluation of pest management in a pilot programme
  • Jts Walker
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Walker JTS, Hodson AJ, Wearing CH, Bradley SJ, Shaw PW, Tomkins AR, Burnip GM, Stiefel HE, Batchelor TA 1997. Integrated Fruit Production (IFP) for New Zealand pipfruit: evaluation of pest management in a pilot programme. Proceedings of 50 th New Zealand Plant Protection Conference: 258-263.
Integrated Fruit Production (IFP) for New Zealand pipfruit: evaluation of pest management recommendations
  • Jts Walker
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  • S J Bradley
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Walker JTS, Wearing CH, Bradley SJ, Shaw PW, Burnip GM, Tomkins AR, Richardson CA, Hodson AJ 1998. Integrated Fruit Production (IFP) for New Zealand pipfruit: evaluation of pest management recommendations. Proceedings of 51st New Zealand Plant Protection Conference: 166-172.