The prevention and/or suppression of key pests and diseases must be supported among other options especially by the:
- Plantation of resistant or less susceptible cultivars.
- The protection and enhancement of beneficial organisms / key natural enemies (e.g. insect parasitoids or predators).
- Use of appropriate cultivation techniques (e.g. balanced fertilization, green cover, pruning, removal of infected prunings, alternate mowing); pruning not only removes dead tissues but also allows proper ventilation and more effective spray coverage;
- Use of optimum fertilization (especially low nitrogen input) and irrigation practices;
- Ecological infrastructures inside and outside production sites to enhance a supportive conservation biological control of key pests by antagonists.
- Avoid insecticide treatments as much as possible to prevent outbreaks of secondary pests.
Bactrocera oleae (olive fruit fly)
- Cultivation practices that may reduce the damages of the major olive pest, Bactrocera oleae (olive fruit fly) should be followed i.e. harvesting at the earliest possible time, short harvest period and stripping all the olive fruits from the tree. Tillage after harvest, not before, to prevent negative effects on predation of B. oleae pupae. Infestation of B. oleae may be constrained in part by planting resistant cultivars. Avoid the interplanting of susceptible, large drupe varieties, with the more tolerant cultivars for oil production. Avoid the excess irrigation because the olive fly population is much favoured in irrigated olive groves.
- In case of previous crops being host plants of Verticillium consider the pathogen level in the soil and then proper cultivars should be selected or solarization to be applied.