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The early detection of diseases, pests, nutritional disorders and other management problems is undoubtedly the most useful tool and undoubtedly fulfills the classic premise that prevention is better than cure.
When damage by biotic agents is detected, it is generally much more complex and time consuming to act efficiently, and in most cases it is more expensive.
The most effective thing in the olive grove would always be prevention, rather than cure.
By detecting infections in the initial stages, or better yet, anticipating their appearance by knowing the conditions that cause them, the problem can be tackled in phases in which control is still efficient, with no significant production losses.
We are going to see, for example, the importance of having personnel trained in the detection of Repilo, Leaded and Fly in the current olive grove.
Olive grove management. ESAO Image Bank
Repilo and lead
These fungi infect leaves after periods of high relative humidity and mild temperatures.
Visual detection by trained personnel of the lesions caused by these fungi occurs only when the infection is very advanced on the leaf. It is important that this detection is by a technician and thus avoid errors in diagnosis.
In this state of infection, there is no way to reverse the infection, and the leaf will be lost by falling to the ground, irretrievably.
When some infected leaves are perceived with the naked eye, it means that there will be many leaves with latent, incipient infections, which are capable of being cured with phytosanitary products, unless it is organic farming, in which there are only preventive measures.
If the attack is detected well in advance, or better still, if the predisposition to attack of the farm is known, measures can be taken before the beginning of the favorable conditions for the infection, with preventive actions, which will always have better results than the ones curative measures.
In the case of organic farming, there is also the drawback that it is not possible to use curative means, so prevention is the only possible tool and it must be optimized as much as possible. To intervene in prevention, the professional knowledge of trained personnel will be those that indicate the best way to manage the olive grove to prevent the appearance of repilo or leaded.
The bites begin from hardening of the bone in mid-summer, and extend until veraison, in mid-autumn. The attack usually has an exponential behavior.
The first bites are produced by hibernating females from the previous season, so the existing population at that time is relatively low. From these bites, the first generation of the year is born, in summer, which directly begins to bite. We found adult flies both hibernating from the previous campaign, as well as young ones from the current campaign.
This process continues and, throughout the season, generations overlap, while the olive becomes more attractive to female flies as temperatures drop and humidity increases.
If the person in charge of the olive grove is unaware of the fly's evolution process and its behavior, it will be difficult for her to act efficiently, and on occasions the treatment she decides to implement can be harmful.
Olive fly. ESAO Image Bank
In farms and complicated years, in mid-autumn, the population of flies can be very high as a result of the overlapping of different generations, in many cases the damage caused is irreparable, making it impossible to obtain quality oil.
However, the early detection, by an olive grove technician, of the first bites, and the immediate implementation of preventive measures, allows that the population and the damage do not increase exponentially, trying not to let new flies hatch that they will multiply the population.
Olive fly. ESAO Image Bank
In the case of the fly, damage is often caused by not having correctly calculated the real incidence on the farm at the beginning of the attack season, being impossible to control the fly when the populations are high and the bites are very numerous in the field. total population of olives on the farm.
Detection and prevention
Detecting a pest well, knowing how to interpret what disease it is when I see symptoms on the leaves, will be essential to make correct decisions and to prevent further damage.
Through trained staff who help me detect both pests and diseases in the olive grove, I will avoid false diagnoses and we can act accordingly.
On the other hand, managing to reduce the incidence of pests or diseases in my olive grove to the maximum will help us to protect the harvest and on many occasions to save the campaign.
If we talk about the use of fertilizers, for example, a trained professional will tell us the common corrective actions to fix the soil pH before planting olive trees, or when we diagnose the lack of Nitrogen, we must consult an experienced olive grove technician to establish a smart fertilization program, according to our olive trees in particular.
Each olive grove is different and has different needs. It is beneficial to test the soil at least once a year, and take preventive or corrective actions after consulting with our trained staff.
The trained personnel will tell us what is the best way to treat the pruning remains of the olive grove, the importance of disinfection of machinery and tools, the suitability or not of starting certain branches or olive trees, the best use, the best system and the best water treatment in my concrete olive grove, use of techniques that will minimize the entry of vectors, avoid cross contamination, if we are going to plant new olive trees, it will check that they are free of viruses or diseases, as well as endless actions that will be the best way to prevent damage and loss of production in our olive grove.