Nursery Accreditations and why they are essential considering the MFC pest outbreak

Macadamia felted coccid (MFC), is a new pest that has found its way onto South African shores, specifically in the Mpumalanga province.

MFC originated in Australia but in recent times has migrated through to Hawaii and now South Africa. This pest causes immense damage to macadamia trees. This includes distorted leaves, new shoots, possible abortion of immature nuts, yellow spots on leaves and bleeding of branches. Heavy infestations result in the dieback of branches and reduced yields[1]. In extreme cases trees will die-off completely.

The infestation was first believed to have been contained in the Barberton area but has since migrated to White River and across several farms in the Lowveld. The spread of MFC is believed to be caused by the transfer of infested plant material.

This new pest brings with it a risk to many young trees and new orchards. If more trees and areas are affected, it will put our macadamia industry at risk for production and export. Considering this, it remains incredibly important to make sure that you are buying your macadamia trees from a reputable SAMAC and SGASA accredited nursery.  These accreditations bring necessary controls, checks and balances to manage healthy tree quality, variety conformation, pest and disease risks and aid in better planning and customer focus. Ultimately helping to protect your farm and future orchards to support achieving excellent future yields.

Buying from an accredited and certified nursery, like Red Sun Hortitech (ANA, SGASA, GlobalGap), ensures that you are getting perfect trees, on time and that every precaution and check has been taken to ensure the success of the trees in your orchard.