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Uruguay fruit programme cuts agchem use

A Uruguayan government backed initiative led to an 81% reduction in the appearance of Lepidoptera on deciduous fruit in 2013/14, while “greatly reducing” the application of insecticides, the Ministry of Agriculture says. Target pests included codling moths (Cydia pomonella) and Oriental fruit moths (Grapholita molesta). The programme employs pheromones in trees to disorientate target species and impede their reproduction. It also involves weekly monitoring, the application of insecticides depending on damage thresholds and the training of growers in the technique. The programme covered 3,700 ha, over 80% of the country’s area for such fruit as pears and mandarins. The Ministry notes that the technique lowers grower costs as well as the use of insecticides.

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