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Stone fruit growers can now take advantage of a new Horticultural Development Company (HDC)-funded crop walkers' guide, helping those in the industry to identify a range of pests and diseases.
The new publication offers a pictorial guide to all major pests, naturally occurring beneficial insects and diseases affecting plum, cherry and other stone fruit crops grown in the UK and is the latest guide of this type to have been produced by HDC.
The release of the crop walkers' guide comes in direct response to calls from the stone fruit industry for a quick-reference tool to enable those in the field to more quickly and easily identify issues, which can result in crop damage and reduced yields.
HDC Knowledge Transfer Manager, Scott Raffle said, "Following the popularity of similar publications produced by HDC for strawberry, cane and bush fruit crops, the tree fruit panel requested this guide for stone fruit growers. HDC is indebted to Dr Michelle Fountain of East Malling Research for her hard work and dedication to sourcing all of the images included and we hope that growers find these guides to be a valuable tool on a day-to-day basis."
Steve Castle of Torry Hill Estate in Sittingbourne said, "We are delighted that HDC has produced this publication, which offers a quick and easy guide to identifying all the major pests and diseases we suffer from in our stone fruit business. We will distribute copies to all of our field staff to help them identify pests and diseases more quickly in future, which will allow us to act more swiftly in terms of our control programmes."
Growers who haven't yet received a copy of the crop walkers' guide, or require additional copies, should contact HDC administrator Louise Arculus on 024 7647 8661 or at email@example.com.
For more information about the Horticultural Development Company (HDC), please visit www.hdc.org.uk