Four members of the Macadamia Protection Programme (MaPP) in FABI, PhD candidates Angel Maduke and Byron Sonnekus and MSc students Gerhard Botha and Dee Twiddy, visited Nseleni nursery in Richards Bay in KwaZulu-Natal during a three day fieldtrip from 28-30 March. The objective of the nursery visit was to collect 280 Macadamia seedlings, of four different cultivars, to be used in Angel’s project for Branch dieback susceptibility trials. Additionally, the team also used the opportunity to collect asymptomatic Macadamia nuts and 200 leaves from the nursery farm that will be used in Dee and Angel’s pathogenicity trials. The pathogenicity trials will be important to understand the association of different pathogens identified in both projects to multiple diseases in the macadamia canopy.

The MaPP would like to express their gratitude to the nursery administrator, Shirley Carey who welcomed them and kindly provided a tour of their nursery facilities and production processes. A special thanks also to William Davidson, who is no stranger to FABI, for engaging with them during the nursery tour and for sharing knowledge on the cultivation of macadamias in South Africa and the current threats to the industry. And lastly a big thank you to the MAPP team members that joined the long KZN trip and helped with offloading the trees at the farm!