The Macadamia Protection Program (MPP) is back in the field! MPP research group leader Dr Gerda Fourie, joined by MSc candidate Dee Twiddy and PhD candidate Elisa Pal travelled to the Mpumalanga area during the week of 9 February. The objectives of the field visit was to collect samples for various on-going research projects as well as farm visits to select sites for two new flower blight projects starting this year. The field visit also included field extension which provided the team with the opportunity to discuss various pest and disease problems with growers and to collect samples for the disease diagnostic clinic. On Wednesday the team spent most of the day with Dr. Schalk Schoeman and Lungile Linda from ARC Tropical and Subtropical Crops. This led to valuable discussions on pests and diseases of concern to the macadamia industry and discussions regarding research projects of the MPP and the ARC. Finally, the team conducted a night-time pilot study with coloured light traps for Elisa’s PhD project.

The team would like to thank Dr Schoeman for his valuable input, and the various macadamia growers for allowing us to visit and for making time for us. We look forward to more growers visits in Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal in the near future.