Hawke’s Bay community is engaged in codling moth research to protect New Zealand apples

Plant & Food Research has engaged households in Hawke’s Bay, the heart of New Zealand’s apple industry, in studies that will help create smarter and more sustainable ways to protect the prized fruit and those whose livelihoods depend on it.

New Zealand is the only country which can export apples to some of the world’s most exclusive and premium markets such as Japan. To maintain this status, our apple exports must be free of pests like codling moths as well as contain low chemical residues.

Thanks to decades of innovation and integrated pest management practice, the codling moth population on-orchard is largely under control, but the industry is not necessarily out of the woods.

Plant & Food Research scientists and their research partners at the University of Auckland have obtained permission from households in Hastings City, a peri-urban (semi-rural) area close to commercial apple orchards, to install 200 pheromone traps on residential properties. Some of these households have apple and walnut trees in their gardens – both common host trees of codling moths. Continue reading