During the week of 18 January, members of the Avocado Research Programme (ARP), Dr Velushka Swart, PhD candidate Phinda Magagula and MSc candidate Raven Wienk travelled to Tzaneen. Their main objectives included the harvesting of avocado root samples to assess the response of various rootstocks towards Phytophthora cinnamomi infection and the sampling of avocado leaves for SNP genotyping of our South African germplasm. They also collected beetle specimens from insect traps in various orchards which forms part of the ARP’s collaboration with the South African Avocado Growers’ Association (SAAGA) to monitor beetles in avocado-growing areas throughout South Africa.

Finally, to ensure that this trip served to accomplish as much as possible, they visited several Macadamia orchards in the area to sample nuts with Husk rot symptoms on behalf of the Macadamia Protection Programme (MPP). The ARP would like to thank Wilna Stones (Westfalia Technological Services), Zanelle Mufamadi (Westfalia Technological Services), Andre Ernst (Allesbeste) and Rodrigo Duarte (Allesbeste) for assisting them in the field and the valuable discussions that were had.