The Woolly apple aphid (E. lanigerum) can cause severe damage, especially in organic cultivation; sucking activity causes bark growth, the so-called blood louse canker. Promoting natural antagonists in organic orchards is a key element in controlling E. lanigerum. Further, the tree growth should be balanced through proper (root) pruning.
Apple scab is the primary fungal disease in apple cultivation affecting entire harvests as well as the following year's production. The damage can occur both in the plant and during storage. In organic farming, scab control is mostly carried out using precautionary measures. Plant protection products are used for direct control before the onset of rain and during spore germination as "scab stop".
Codling moth (Cydia pomonella) is the primary pest in organic fruit growing. It damages apple, pear, quince, rowan, medlar, walnut and kaki. Generations/years vary depending on the soil and climates zones. Several control methods can be applied in organic farming depending on the infection rate, but plant protection products and mating disruption are the most common. Choosing suitable methods may reduce the time for intervention in the field.
Sawflies, such as apple sawfly (Hoplocampa testudinea) and Pear sawfly (H. brevis), are major pests in organic fruit production which can cause massive yield losses. Regulation is possible by only a few measures.
Combining different preventive strategies and direct measures can help to control the pest.
Apple scab (Venturia inaequalis): robust cultivars for Central Europe (Biofruitnet Practice Abstract)
Apple scab (V. inaequalis) is the main disease in organic apple production. Availability of varieties is a major problem as only a few robust varieties are available on the market.
The researchers propose a list of currently well-known robust varieties that are suitable for large scale production. Current breeding of new cultivars is crucial for the future of organic growing, stay tuned.
Report on exploration of low/no copper strategies for current commercial grapevine, apple and glasshouse crops
A RELACS project - The overall aim is the development of novel copper alternatives and integration in crop protection strategies to replace copper (no copper strategies) or to limit the use of copper (low copper strategies) in organic plant production.
Project BioFruitNet - Rosy apple aphid (Dysaphis plantaginea) has a fast reproduction cycle and the potential to cause major damage in orchards. Preventive measures such as promoting beneficial insects and pruning are often not sufficient.
Direct control with Azadirachtin (NeemAzal®-T/S, also called Neem) decimates the population and keeps damage below the economic damage threshold.
Controllo dei parassiti e delle malattie nella produzione biologica di mele con un sistema di copertura temporaneo
Come si può ridurre ulteriormente l'uso di pesticidi nei frutteti biologici a gestione intensiva? Un approccio è quello di utilizzare sistemi di copertura che proteggono gli alberi dalla pioggia e dai parassiti. Questo è quanto è stato testato nell'ambito del progetto DOMINO, e le conclusioni provvisorie sono presentate in un video.