Tomatoes are notoriously attacked by pests and disease. Many farmers try to formulate a programme to prevent every possible attack, but one should rather adapt pest control relevant to the pests and disease of your area and the season. Not only will this be more economical, but also more effective.
Leaf miner is a pest resistant to most products, yet it can be very economically controlled by allowing parasitoids to do the job.We have two major leaf miner species. Both are relatively new and accidental introductions from abroad. The first to arrive was Liriomyza trifolii, referred to as the American or tomato leaf miner and indeed this pest has had a major influence on the tomato industry in warm regions in particular. Later Liriomyza huidobrensis arrived, which is commonly called the potato leaf miner, South leaf miner or the pea leaf miner.
It’s a larger fly that attacks a number of crops and weeds. The larvae of this species tend to gravitate towards the midrib and leaf veins whereas L. trifolii tends to be evenly distributed on the leaves. In cooler areas L. huidobrensis is likely to be the main culprit.
The leaf miner has a life cycle of about 24 days, giving it the opportunity to build up resistance to pesticides faster than most other pests and it came into the country already resistant to many pesticides. It’s not uncommon for a certain product to work well in one area and not in another, due to resistance.
Minute wasps, which are parasitoids, feed on the tunnelling larvae. Some lay their eggs next to the tunnelling larvae and others lay eggs directly into the larvae. The predominance of certain species of parasitoids can vary from season to season. A problem with parasitoids is that they can be so effective that they kill off all the leaf miner, then their own populations drop, allowing the leaf miner to increase again. other countries, including Kenya, one can buy these wasps to maintain a balance.
Our approach should be to closely monitor the situation and see if the parasitoids are present when the leaf miners start. Using safe products such as Dipel and Biocure has little or no effect on parasitoids, but it does control caterpillars. The latter product also controls leaf miner. these products strategically allows the parasitoids numbers to increase.
Leaf miner not only causes physical damage and yield loss, but also increases the incidence of disease. The best approach to pest and disease control is to get to know the problems and monitor the crops closely. – Bill Kerr ((016) 366 0616 or e-mail [email protected]) |fw
selling is selling is …
The basics of selling are the same no matter the product. At its simplest the salesperson establishes the client’s need and offers to satisfy that need with the right product at the right price.
Selling fresh produce on a market is no different and certainly the more senior salespeople have over the years developed the style and mannerisms that work for them.
I frequently speak to them and am astonished how many have the “you can’t teach me anything” attitude. I find it disturbing that people with such specialised knowledge, experience and skills can be so dismissive. Some will say that attitude has been around since the beginning and we just have to live with it. However, the old timers seem to do a pretty good job despite an apparent lack of ambition or foresight.
wish it was that simple. The problem is that times have changed and so has fresh produce marketing. Does that mean the “old timers” don’t have to change? Are they so good at what they do that they don’t have to adapt to stay in tune with their industry? they giving their clients, farmers and buyers the best service possible?
arkets are fighting for survival as producers and buyers move on to greener pastures. How much of the blame for this trend can be laid at the feet of the old timers?
Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not knocking the good ones, the ones who make the effort. I’m talking about those who have sunk into their own quagmire of complacency and indifference.believe they have only been saved by increasing volumes that have resulted in increased turnover. For most of them this has meant automatic business, and many have made good money.
Most salespeople hold an important ace up their sleeves – a substantial farmer base. market salesperson without a farmer base is like a fish without water. They know a high proportion of their clients will follow them if they change agencies. This gives them a false sense of power, little realising that farmers could change allegiances especially in a world where they require a more professional service from their market salesperson.
Do they really know as much about the products they sell as they claim to? Apart from new varieties, fresh produce has many other facets. Are they aware of food safety implications? Can they converse intelligently about the complexities of post-harvest physiology.The potato farmers have instructed Potatoes South Africa to look into upgrading the skills and knowledge of potato salespeople on markets.s that not sending a loud clear message to market salespeople? – Mike Cordes ([email protected]) |fw