Back to all articles

Tomato Spotted

Wilt progress -

Grower Solutions Magazine
Lefroy Valley 

June 2003

TSWV and its vector the Western Flower Thrips (WFT), are becoming a greater problem in more localities in Australia by the season. This season hundreds of thousands of plants were lost in the Perth metro costing growers bucket loads of money. In previous articles I have suggested that there is no simple solution to this problem. A multi-pronged strategy is required, which needs to be adopted collectively. This is a community problem and as such has to be attacked by the community. 

Tony Burfield & Nhieu Nguyen, of the WFT control program in South Australia were approached to present the strategy that has been used with good success in that state over the past few years. At two presentations they emphasised the importance of training of growers to understand their enemy and the necessity of growers to work together in their areas to attack the problem.

This training involved the
following basic points:

The use of a yellow sticky trap is essential to monitor populations of WFT moving into the crop. This will provide feedback of the affectivity of spray programmes & will provide evidence within two to three days of new populations moving into the crop and long before TSWV symptoms begin to show. 

Infected plants should be up-rooted, placed in a plastic bag and removed from the paddock as soon as symptoms are observed. Contact with other plants should be avoided and infected plants should be buried.





The removal of any weeds from the vicinity of the crop that is in the control of the grower. There will be areas close to the crop that are not in the control of the grower which is why neighbours should be working together to ensure a better growing environment for all.

The use of registered chemicals at label rates, with correct volume of water and at recommended intervals & with regularly calibrated and serviced spray equipment. The pH of the spray solution should be between 6.5 and 7.5, which is easily corrected using HYGROBUFF. There is a high risk of chemical failure in certain products when the pH is higher than 8.5.

5 The use of TSWV tolerant varieties. This is not the answer to all evils! TSWV resistance in capsicums & tomatoes is single gene resistance, which if placed under heavy disease pressure, can break down. TSWV tolerance is a valuable tool that should be used carefully together with all the other control measures. In the 2002/3 season in both South Australia & WA resistance breaking strains of TSWV have appeared when WFT control measures have been ignored. In the Perth metro tomato screening trials have yielded the following varieties that have TSWV tolerance together with acceptable horticultural characteristics. TMI 2425 has shown very good early season vigour in Perth, stood up very well against TSWV attack, and provided good yields of non-green shouldered fruit. TMI 3161T from Hazera, stood up well against TSWV in spring in Perth, yielding firm non-green shouldered fruit. In the Roma class TMI 0133T performed well against TSWV infection. Fruit are smaller than Colibri, but have no nipple and are larger than Salita. This variety has shown good early season vigour in Perth and also performed well as a regular variety in Carnarvon. In the capsicums CLT 2167T from Clause, performed well in the mid-season in Perth. The bush is compact and provides a concentrated set of large blocky fruit. This variety performed better as the summer season warmed up after the late spring weather. Two additional varieties with larger Lamuyo shaped fruit CPS 2739 and CPS 2738 both from Clause, have been trialed late in the season and have shown good potential. The search has not stopped here! Screening trials with all available material from around the world has been placed in screening trials in Carnarvon for screening of horticultural characteristics. The best will be lifted out for trialing in high TSWV pressure areas in spring.

By Peter Mullins

  Bookmark and Share

top of page  

to all articles  


AgriSupportOnline, Moshav Almagor, Israel
Legal Disclaimer