The last field trips for the year for the MadMacs 2021-12-14
The last field trip for the MadMacs took place from 22-25 November and between 3-6 December when the Macadamia Prtotection Programme (MPP) visited Macadamia growers in the Mpumalanga and Kwazulu-Natal (North and South coast) provinces. The objective of these field trips was to provide growers with an update regarding on-going research in different farmer study groups. Dr Gerda Fourie, research leader of the group, had the opportunity to discuss the value of the FABI disease clinic that can assist growers with stink bug and lepidoptera identification as well as disease diagnostics. She also provided an update on the status of the Polyphagous shot hole borer (PSHB) in macadamia orchards as well as flower blight disease. PhD candidate Angel Maduke joined both trips, while PhD candidate Ashleigh Smith, and MSc student Dee Twiddy joined for the Mpumalanga week and PhD candidate Elisa Pal and MSc student Gerhard Botha attended the KwaZulu-Natal grower days. During these sessions the CEO of the SAMAC, Lizel Pretorius, also shared information with growers regarding production forecasts, research and development for 2021, the establishment of the World Macadamia Organisation and the new crime and support desk. After the sessions farmers had the opportunity to discuss pest and disease issues with members of the team and see what PHSB and other beetles look like. During these sessions team members also handed out various information sheets about current macadamia pests and diseases. We would like to thank SAMAC for inviting us to join the study group sessions, especially in KZN where we had a taste of holidays with some swimming in the ocean. Have a lovely festive season and see you next year for more adventures with the MadMacs!