A team of four FABIans, together two staff members of the South African Pecan Producers Association (SAPPA), spent last week surveying pecan orchards in the JanKempdorp area for the presence of PSHB (Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer) infestations. Prof. Wilhelm de Beer, students Seamus Morgan and Leandri Bezuidenhout, and Hardus du Toit and Ivan Schlebusch of SAPPA, assisted Shawn Fell with the survey that forms part of his MSc project

The aim of the survey was to map the extent of the current PSHB outbreak in pecan orchards in the Vaalharts Irrigation Scheme. High resolution aerial maps of the orchards based on a combination of drone and satellite images, were generated for the project by Annette Swanepoel and her team from the Northern Cape Department of Agriculture. During the survey 5237 individual trees were assessed and mapped for the presence of PSHB attacks. The data will be used to identify individual trees for long term monitoring to assess the impact of the PSHB fungi on these trees. In addition, the maps will be used to put out traps to monitor beetle activity over the next two years.