For the past one and a half years, Russia has sent tons of nectarines, red plums and citrus back to Turkey due to the Mediterranean Fruit Fly. Hence, producers in Adana are now more careful about spraying citrus trees this year.
Yuregir Agricultural Chamber’s Chairman Mehmet Akin Dogan said that the Mediterranean Fruit Fly is not tolerated in exports.
Due to the warm weather in 2018, Mediterranean Fruit Fly damaged many citrus and other fruit gardens, therefore producers in Adana have been spraying fruit gardens more frequently since July. No Mediterranean Fruit Fly has been detected this year, Chairman Mehmet Akin Dogan told IHA reporter.
Adana produces 30% of citrus in Turkey, Dogan stated. Chairman Dogan explained that spraying started in mid-September and that farmers will continue spraying every 10 days until the temperatures drop below 16 celsius.
Stating that there is a decrease in insect pests, Dogan said: “In 2018, due to warm weather, the Mediterranean Fruit Fly has been seen earlier in our valley. The Mediterranean Fruit Fly appears when the temperatures are above 16 celsius degrees. Once the fruits reach half size, the first nymphs are detected on the nets. Following this, we spray fruits every 10 days. Together with the municipality and governorship we decided to do collective spraying this year.”
Pointing out that damaged fruits need to be collected and taken outside the gardens, Dogan said: “The damaged fruits that are on trees need to be collected and destroyed. They need to be put in black bags, left in the sun for 3 to 4 days and destroyed or they need to be buried.”
Currently, no Mediterranean Fruit Fly has been detected, Chairman Dogan underlined and continued: “In the Mediterranean Fruit Fly spraying, there is one chemical spraying, one crop protection and one biotech spraying. The most crucial one of these is the chemical combat. The spraying is done from below and 1 to 1,5 meters high. It is repeated every 10 days. Once the temperatures drop below 16 and when there is 10 days to go before the harvest, we stop spraying. In 2018, the number of Mediterranean Fruit Flies increased tremendously. It was a big problem but we managed to keep it under control. This year, we took precautions against it especially in citrus. We only lagged behind in protecting peaches, nectarines and apricots in May. So far this season, we haven’t seen any flies.”
Yuregir Agricultural Chamber’s Chairman Mehmet Akin Dogan said: “In exports, the Mediterranean Fruit Fly is not tolerated at all. Even if it is detected only in one fruit, that brings our production to a halt. Once the Mediterranean Fruit Fly is detected especially in our citrus, the fruit is destroyed on the spot or sent back immediately. That brings our exports to a halt. Therefore, we pay attention to pest control.”