Rust thrips, a tiny pest that can lead to large economic losses, is consistently popping up as a priority pest for banana growers. This is the feedback the banana extension team has been given by growers at recent farm visits. The team is continuing to gain valuable information from growers on issues affecting fruit yield and quality. Discussions so far have highlighted some commonalities across farms, with Rust thrips being raised as the most common issue amongst growers.
What exactly is it though, that makes Rust thrips such a headache for growers? To help answer this, the extension team asked growers and consultants at the 2020 roadshows to share their experience with managing the pest. Here’s what was learnt.