University of Zagreb, Faculty of Agriculture

The first orchard using photo-selective netting in the Republic of Croatia - implementation of LIFE.SUSAFRUIT project results

The installation of a red photo-selective anti-insect exclusion net on the 3 ha apple owned by MIX AGRO company in Kašić has just been completed. This company decided to set up a photo-selective anti-insect exclusion net after the encouraging results of experiments carried out in its orchards during the LIFE 13 ENV / HR / 000580 'Low pesticide IPM in sustainable and safe fruit production' project coordinated by the Faculty of Agriculture and Ph.D. dr. sc. Tomislav Jemrić. Experiments have shown that photo-selective anti-insect exclusion net increases fruit mass, yield and reduces sunburn. In addition to the protection against hail, and the improvement yield and fruit quality, this net creates a barrier for harmful insects if placed also on the sides of the orchard, due to the smaller mesh size compared to the classic black anti-hail net. This was done in this orchard as well. In the experimental conditions a complete control of the codling moth was achieved with only one insecticide treatment, but in production conditions it is expected that the number of insecticide treatments will be reduced by up to 50%. This will additionally improve fruit quality and reduce pesticide residues. Thus, the project fully fulfilled its main goal of direct application of results in production practice. This is the first orchard with photo-selective anti-insect exclusion net in the Republic of Croatia.

By the end of the year it is expected to set up photo-selective anti-insect exclusion net on 7 ha of peaches and nectarines, also owned by MIX AGRO. Innovative photo-selective anti-insect exclusion net technology is applied to Italy, Israel, Australia, South Africa and other countries that promote innovation-based fruit production.