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Potential for organic mango production in the Northern Territory of Australia using weaver ants, Oecophylla smaragdina,(Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

Peng, Renkang K. and Christian, Keith A. (2007). Potential for organic mango production in the Northern Territory of Australia using weaver ants, Oecophylla smaragdina,(Hymenoptera: Formicidae). In: XXVII International Horticultural Congress - IHC 2006 International Symposium on Horticultural Plants in Urban and Peri-Urban Life, Seoul, Korea, 13-19 August 2006.

Document type: Conference Paper
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IRMA ID 81151512xPUB2
Author Peng, Renkang K.
Christian, Keith A.
Title Potential for organic mango production in the Northern Territory of Australia using weaver ants, Oecophylla smaragdina,(Hymenoptera: Formicidae)
Conference Name XXVII International Horticultural Congress - IHC 2006 International Symposium on Horticultural Plants in Urban and Peri-Urban Life
Conference Location Seoul, Korea
Conference Dates 13-19 August 2006
Conference Publication Title Proceedings of the XXVII International Horticultural Congress on Global Horticulture: Diversity and Harmony
Place of Publication Belgium
Publisher International Society for Horticultural Science
Publication Year 2007
Volume Number 767
ISBN 9789066055902   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Start Page 81
End Page 88
Total Pages 8
Field of Research 0701 - Agriculture, Land and Farm Management
HERDC Category E1 - Conference Publication (DEST)
Abstract High demand of organic mango in domestic and overseas markets has been increasing since the 1990s. However, insect pests are one of the main constraints limiting organic mango production in the Northern Territory. Previous work showed that weaver ants are effective in controlling the major mango insect pests, but they have not been extensively used because of three issues of concern by mango growers: (1) the ants may reduce mango yield due to their aggressive behaviour towards pollinators; (2) the ants farm mealy bugs that, in turn, may affect fruit quality; and (3) the ants annoy farm workers at harvest. Field experiments, together with long-term monitoring programs, were conducted in four non-spray or organic mango orchards from 2001 to 2003 in the Darwin area of Australia to address these issues. Data obtained from the four sites showed that compared with the treatment without weaver ants, the treatment with abundant weaver ants produced either similar or more fruit/tree/year, and 20.3%/tree/year more first class fruit. The overall profit /tree/year in the treatment with abundant weaver ants was 55.5% higher than the treatment without the ants. Putting fruit picked with a long-handled picking pole directly into a bucket filled with water and mango wash seems to be a useful way to avoid ant disturbance.
 
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Created: Mon, 11 May 2009, 14:09:17 CST by Sarena Wegener