`Experts Warn of Severe Olive Moth Attack in Jaén - Olive Oil Times

Experts Warn of Severe Olive Moth Attack in Jaén

By Paolo DeAndreis
Jun. 16, 2020 14:40 UTC

Olive oil grow­ers in Jaén have been advised to care­fully exam­ine the pres­ence of the olive moth (Prays oleae) in their groves. Experts from the farm­ers asso­ci­a­tion COAG have found evi­dence of a mas­sive spread­ing that could be the most severe to date.

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COAG Jaén asked its asso­ciates to seek the inter­ven­tion of advi­sors in their groves. Such a con­sid­er­able pres­ence of the moth rep­re­sents a major risk for the next har­vest sea­son’s olive yield.

Experts at COAG noted that tra­di­tional mea­sures against the spread­ing of the moth have been hin­dered this year by the weather in many areas. Heavy rain­fall hit the region when flow­er­ing was under­way.

Damage by larva Prays oleae Bernard (Lepidoptera: Yponomeutidae) on olive leaf

In the areas where no moth con­tain­ment mea­sures have been taken, the dam­age could spread to as much as 50 per­cent of the groves, COAG warned, while lesser dam­age of up to 20 or 30 per­cent could be expected in treated areas.

The group also noted that while tem­per­a­tures have risen recently, the heat is not expected to reach 35°C (95°F) or higher that might kill off the eggs of the moth.

Quick action is imper­a­tive, the experts said, faced with what they say are unprece­dented num­bers of adult moths seen on the fields. They warn that with­out an aggres­sive response, many grow­ers risk a large fruit drop come September.

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