October 26, 2008
We attended an event in Isla Cristina in southern Spain earlier this month at the Efyasa orange farm, which operates on the principle of Integrated Pest Management, an approach that uses a complimentary array of methods to control pests in an attempt to reduce reliance on pesticides.
In this debate, focus has tended to be on yields, but in the video clip below, the chief agronomist at Efyasa, José Luis Ripolles, and his colleague Rafael Fernandez, largely speak about fruit quality. They are in the awkward predicament of having been able to grow oranges containing limited to zero residues, but then not being able to sell them because quality has been compromised by attacks from the California Red Scale pest, which leaves unsightly stains on the surface of the oranges. Quite a Catch-22 situation, considering that customers expect fewer residues AND stainless, perfect-looking fruit: it appears that it has to be, certainly in this case, one or the other.Helen Dunnett