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Aerial Baiting

As part of an integrated pest management (IPM) approach, FFA co-ordinates the area-wide (AW) aerial baiting of an organically certified, attract-and-kill insecticide on commercial plantings, on behalf of producers, by way of helicopters and/or fixed-wing aeroplanes. This is done in accordance with the statutory measure that was approved and documented in the government gazette of 2 Dec 2020 (No. 43952).

It is widely accepted that aerial baiting is a highly effective strategy to control fruit fly populations. This is due to the “blanket” effect when large regions get covered in a relatively short time frame, and in a synchronised way. Aerial baiting mostly takes place in the warmer months when fruit fly numbers start increasing, and baitings are repeated every 2 weeks. Another benefit of area-wide aerial baiting, as opposed to uncoordinated ground baiting, is that inaccessible places, like riverbeds and natural vegetation, can effectively be treated.

The below table gives an approximation* of the extent of our program and the regions covered. The number of baiting per region differs based on the agreed statutory measure at that point in time, and if any voluntary baiting are requested by producers:

ProvinceProduction regionHectares covered*
Northen CapeOrange River18 000 ha
Eastern CapeLangkloof4 400 ha
Western CapeHex River Valley (incl. De Wet, Brandwacht, Nuy & Breeriver)7 500 ha
Elgin & Grabouw (incl. Hemel en Aarde)6 600 ha
Vyeboom & Villiersdorp (incl. Kaaimansgat)4 800 ha
Warm Bokkeveld4 400 ha
Wolseley1 800 ha
Tulbagh1 400 ha
Olifants River750 ha
Total49 650 ha
1. An Aerial Operator Getting Ready To Start Baiting In Kaaimansgat (near Villiersdorp, Western Cape).
1. An aerial operator getting ready to start baiting in Kaaimansgat (near Villiersdorp, Western Cape).
2. The Benefit Of Baiting With A Helicopter Is That It Is Able To Navigate Hard To Reach Places, Especially Near Mountainous Areas.
2. The benefit of baiting with a helicopter is that it is able to navigate hard to reach places, especially near mountainous areas.
3. An Aerial Operator Running Final Checks Before Embarking On A Baiting In Kakamas (Northern Cape).
3. An aerial operator running final checks before embarking on a baiting in Kakamas (Northern Cape).
Droplet Size
4. The correct droplet size and distribution must be achieved for the insecticide to have its full effect, and baiting should take place within the permitted weather parameters.
5. Aerial Baiting Warm Bokkeveld
5. Aerial Baiting Warm Bokkeveld
6. Aerial Baiting Hex
6. Aerial Baiting Hex
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