Macadamia trees, like all tree crops, are highly responsive to integrated crop management solutions. At Total Grower Services we have extensive experience in analysing macadamia farming systems. By addressing integrated pest management, soil health and nutrition we achieve whole system benefits for macadamia growers throughout Australia.
Biological Inputs for Root Health and Compaction
Tree crops like macadamias benefit greatly from the inclusion of high-grade biological inputs in nutrition program. Our macadamia agronomists consistently find that pest and disease pressure, nutrient demand and water stress can be managed far easier in a system functioning to its biological potential.
We use Petrik Soil Technology biological inputs due to their high efficacy. The soil inoculants Digestor, and activator Green Manure Plus, have a dramatic impact on root health, root volume and root depth. Digestor transforms the soil health and whole structure, bringing back vital humus into the soil system and utilising the organic matter that is there through inground composting.
Digestor addresses the compaction problems. Compaction is a significant limitation in plant performance in Macadamia plantations, that is exacerbated by the way Macadamias are picked. Most growers do everything to keep a flat surface under the trees. This creates ease in picking, but long term is detrimental to soil health.
Petrik soil inoculants play such a major role in these systems:
- improving soil health
- increasing nutrient unavailability
- breaking down compaction through humus creation
- improving water infiltration and rooting depth and quality
Biological Support at Flowering
Improving soil health with Petrik biological inputs transfers directly to fruiting. Biological support at flowering is also extremely important.
Yield is vital in a productive system. Our agronomists build robustness and resilience into the system to support the macadamia trees through growth stress periods. Petrik Setbest foliar sprays play an important role here. It is a common problem to have lots of flowers and only keep a small percent of the fruit. Supporting the plant through these phases can make a major difference.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
Where possible we use Integrated Pest Management. We always look for the most progressive, cost effective and helpful ways of managing macadamia pests – away from just calendar spray programs - that are centred around reactiveness to addressing pest population problems. For example, Fruit Spotting bug can be managed through integrated approaches with great success in macadamia crops.
Building up beneficial insects in macadamia trees is highly effective due to the protected environment that they produce. When a pest comes in, if the number of beneficials is well established, the pest is more likely to be controlled by the beneficials. An environment where beneficial insects are well established is more likely to have lower pest pressure and therefore less downgrading of fruit, which results in higher returns for growers.
Soil inoculants support the work of IPM. When the plant gets its nutrition from its own plant driven fertile system, less nitrogen and other inputs that attract pests are in the system. Through the use of biology we can maintain peak productivity with lower nitrogen inputs that are known to light up pest activity. Phosphorus availability is highly linked to proliferation of specific phosphorous solubilising biology. When phosphorous is supplied to the plant via this mechanism the supply of phosphorus becomes plant driven, meaning nutrient supply increases at the stages the plant demands it.
As an agronomy business we have extensive experience in reducing insecticide usage through integrated approaches. Using sustainable approaches is becoming fundamental on all levels of production.
You can implement as much or as little of our approach as you want – providing a full agronomy service; just the beneficial insects or just the soil health component. We work with your current system and across all soil types.