Information – Crop Management – Production
Mesh crop covers for potato blight and pest control – 2011-12 First year laboratory and field trials
Initial Results for Tomato Potato Psyllid (TPP) Management with Mesh Crop Covers. July 2012. Report number 3-2012 V3 Download the full report.
- Initial trials of mesh crop covers indicate that they are an effective control measure for TPP. However, the statistical significance of the field trial was mixed, so the results must be treated with caution.
- Contrary to expectations potato blight was much lower under the covers. This may have been a fluke result and it is possible the opposite may be found in later trials.
- This is the result of only one field trial, which needs to be repeated to confirm the results. On this basis it would be unwise for farmers and growers to ‘bet the farm’ and purchase large amounts of mesh solely for TPP management.
- However, it is suggested that producers who can afford to take some financial risk, do consider purchasing mesh to cover a small proportion of their crop, to test it under their production systems. Ideally that would be done as part of a properly randomised replicated trial to ensure the rigour of the results. This can be done in conjunction with the BHU Future Farming Centre who can provide assistance and statistical analysis for free.
Merfield, C. N., Hale, R. J. & Hodge, S. (2014). Pore size criteria of mesh crop covers for the exclusion of tomato-potato psyllid (Bactericera cockerelli). New Zealand Journal of Crop and Horticultural Science, 43(1), 53-58. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01140671.2014.949800. If you are unable to access a copy of this paper through your institution, please email me and I will email you an ePrint.