Last comment about Lace Bug this season.

  • Posted on: 1 May 2024
  • By: ibuchanan

Quick summary: This January we had a catastrophic infestation of Lace Bug, as did most olive growers in the area of north east Victoria. We lost our crop, and the Plan B crop in the next valley I was going to take followed us four weeks later, with all olives dropping off the trees as they were flogged by massive waves of insects.

We still have good quality oil, from last year's crop. In fact in the Australian International Olive Awards our oil was scored in the top 25. But at this rate we will sell it all by August. At that point we will shut up shop for at least 8 months.

We may get a crop next year....our trees are recovering, and we are taking steps to improve our response to Lace Bug next year. At this stage I'd say we are 50/50 chance of a harvest next year.

I was upset about it, but that was in January. We have moved on.

Heavy pruning of trees to try and force early new growth has started.
Pruned trees have less canopy to provide shelter for lace big over winter.
Smaller/shorter trees are more accessible for spraying, and overall less foliage and sticks makes it easier for spray to disperse through the tree.
A smaller canopy means I can get limespreading contractors in between the trees to lime and fertilize the paddocks, boosting the trees' potential for good health and bug resistance.

Prunings are being stacked for mulching crew coming soon to chip it all.