Example of organic pear and apple farm management
Gilles is working part-time in Grab and is carrying out a 4ha farm with organic apples and mostly pears. He has a very extensive and low-input strategy to promote functional biodiversity as much as possible. All the soil surface is fully covered by weeds in order to keep humidity and to increase earwigs/spiders populations, which are great aphids predators. Gilles has stopped using hard compounds such as Neem, Spinosad or sulfur which have strong side-effects on ecological balance. He never used nets against codling moth : with good prevention, mating disruption and granulosis virus, he can reach very low damage rates even with susceptible cultivars like Reinette.
Pear & apple cultivars are low susceptible to main pest and diseases, but market is now getting more difficult as consumers tastes are changing, and also organic apple market is saturated for several months. Gilles gets medium yield (15-20T/ha in pear, 20-25T/ha in apple) but this extensive model is fine with his expectations and values.
Some apple/pears cultivars have been proposed for tastings, as they are mostly french cultivars not well known abroad.
Damage of the brown marmorated stink bug Halyomorpha halys on pear.