The Macadamia Protection Programme’s (MPP) ‘Mad-Macs’ team went on another field trip, this time to the KwaZulu-Natal south coast! The main aim of the trip was to visit growers concerned about the increase in ambrosia beetle damage recorded on macadamia trees.

Research leader of the MPP, Dr Gerda Fourie, along with PhD candidate Elisa Pal and MSc student Dee Twiddy visited various farms taking part in on-going research projects including Macadamia nut borer, stink bugs, and husk rot. We also had the opportunity to see Dustin Cooper’s fascinating Cultivating Solutions Nursery and visit the T&T Horticulture Macadamia Nursery with Colin Rand. This provided us with a better understanding of the process required to generate seedlings. We finally met with Anthony Goble (Vice-chairperson and Director of R&D, SAMAC) and Miles Osborn (Director of Commercial, SAMAC) and had great discussions regarding MPP research. Before heading back to Pretoria we managed to jump off the Oribi Gorge, the world’s highest gorge swing, and squeeze in a quick swim in the ocean.

We would like to extend a huge thank you to all the growers that invited us to their farms and made this visit to the warm KZN a truly great research week.