NSW Department of Primary Industries led a project which produced a comprehensive field guide addressing the most important problems affecting the production of cucurbit crops.
This report covers the activities undertaken during the period of the project, from July 2007 until April 2009.
Activities included the compilation of information, illustrations and photographs detailing diseases, pests, beneficials and disorders of cucurbits in Australia into a durable, waterproof field guide and distribution of this guide to all levy-paying cucurbit growers in Australia.
The 152 page guide, which is a compilation of scientific information and the industry specialists’ expertise, presents over 270 colour photographs, illustrations and text.
Details are provided on a comprehensive list of organisms, nutritional and physiological disorders prevalent in cucurbit crops across Australia.
Life cycles of insects, descriptions of problems, disease transmission, plant damage, prevention and control recommendations are included.
It is expected the use of the guide will improve identification of problems and this will result in more effective management practices, reduced losses from pests and diseases, improved IPM practices, reduced chemical use and improved cucurbit crop and fruit quality.
Cucurbit production in Australia is valued at $394 million (ABS, 2006) and includes crops such as cucumbers, zucchinis, pumpkins, watermelons, rockmelons, bitter melons, gourds and hairy melons which are grown in many locations throughout Australia.
Although the cucurbit group is disperse, they have many pests, diseases and disorders in common. Specific problems occur in different geographical locations and climatic zones.
The major outcome of this project was the publication and distribution of a field guide “Pests, Beneficials, Disorders and Diseases in Cucurbits: Field Identification Guide” to levy paying cucurbit growers in Australia.
The guide will assist growers with field identification and management of cucurbit pests and diseases, integrated pest management practices and nutritional and disorder management.
We thank the following for the permission to use photographs from their collections ;
Thanks to Briony Cowper for drawings of life cycles and insects.
We would also like to thank Chrys Akem, Siva Subramaniam, Penny Goldsmith, David Commens and Barry Jensen for their technical contribution.
We thank the following organisations for their support and access to images: NSW DPI, QLD DPI&F, DAFWA, SARDI, NT DRDPIFR, South Pacific Seeds and Yara International ASA.
This project has been facilitated by NSW Department of Primary Industries and Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL) in partnership with AUSVEG and has been funded by the National Vegetable Research and Development Levy.
The Australian Government provides matched funding for all HAL’s R&D activities.