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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SUSTAINABLE SYSTEMS FOR INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT AND CONSERVATION AND ENHANCEMENT OF NATURAL ENEMIES

Location: Crop Protection and Management Research

2007 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Develop vegetational designs and therapeutic interventions that foster desirable pest/natural enemy balances. Increase the foraging efficacy of parasitoids and other natural enemies of key pests of row crops. Develop spin-off benefits emerging from an understanding of natural systems, such as use of trained wasps for chemical biosensors in precision agriculture and food safety.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Research will focus on better landscape ecology practices for total habitat management, improved knowledge of inherent strengths in crop attributes, and development of biorational, therapeutic products/procedures which complement inherent strengths in the cropping systems and the development of decision-making tools that better utilize natural enemies in agronomic crops in the Southern Coastal Plain. Emphasis will be placed on development of control strategies for insect pests utilizing biological control, conservation tillage practices, cropping sequences, and cultural practices. Efforts will be directed toward conserving and enhancing natural enemies for managing primary pests of agronomic crops.


4.Accomplishments
1. Farmscape ecology of stink bug species.

Stink bugs are primary pests responsible for millions of dollars in losses and cost of controls in most fruit, vegetable, grain, and row crops. Moreover, when pesticides are available for stink bug control, they are often ineffective and have unwanted human health and environmental side effects. The purpose of this research was to determine some of the mechanisms driving the seasonal abundance and distribution of stink bugs in cotton fields associated with corn (corn-cotton farmscapes) and with peanuts (peanut-cotton farmscapes). Stink adults moved into corn and peanuts early season and began laying eggs in these crops. Adults that developed in these crops dispersed into cotton and aggregated in this crop at the common boundaries of corn or peanut fields and cotton fields and along other field edges. Therefore, stink bug seasonal abundance and distribution was driven by food quality-availability within the context of landscape level structures that affected dispersal behavior. This research is currently being used by state extension entomologists throughout the southeast to help producers risk rate their farms for stink bug occurrence. This research has led to further research by USDA-ARS and several state universities throughout the southeast to develop strategies that will efficiently prevent stink bugs from feeding and ovipositing on cash crops by exploiting landscape level structural properties as they relate to bug behavior.

This research contributes to National Program (NP) 304, Crop Protection and Quarantine. The goal of this NP is to provide technology to manage pest populations below economic damage thresholds by the integration of environmentally compatible strategies that are based on increased understanding of the biology and ecology of insect, mite, and weed pests (Component III—Plant, Pest, and Natural Enemy Interactions and Ecology; Component V—Pest Control Technologies).

2. Impact of field margins on maximizing multiple ecological services.

Field margins set-aside as part of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Bob White Quail Initiative (BQI) have the potential to provide habitat for the conservation of quail as well as conservation of beneficial insects species for biologically-based pest control in adjacent crops. Government expenditure for conservation buffers in Georgia is over 26 million dollars per year. Current practices indicate that these set-asides provide good habitat for quail but they lack important sources of food for adult insect species. As a result of this study, several researchers with USDA-ARS, the University of Georgia, Forestry and Natural Resources, and the Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center have initiated tests of various plant species that when added to the vegetative mix may provide multiple ecological services, such as conservation of Bobwhite quail, production of bio-fuels, and conservation and enhancement of beneficial species for biological control of pest species in adjacent crops. The results of this study have also been incorporated into the curriculum of a sustainable agriculture class at Lancaster University, UK for purposes of discussing non-crop management strategies for sustainable agriculture.

This research contributes to National Program (NP) 304, Crop Protection and Quarantine. The goal of this NP is to provide technology to manage pest populations below economic damage thresholds by the integration of environmentally compatible strategies that are based on increased understanding of the biology and ecology of insect, mite, and weed pests (Component III—Plant, Pest, and Natural Enemy Interactions and Ecology; Component V—Pest Control Technologies).


5.Significant Activities that Support Special Target Populations
None.


6.Technology Transfer

Number of web sites managed1
Number of non-peer reviewed presentations and proceedings4
Number of newspaper articles and other presentations for non-science audiences1

Review Publications
Olson, D.M., Takasu, K., Lewis, W.J. 2005. Food needs of adult parasitoids: behavioral adaptations and consequences. In: Wackers, F.L., Van Rijn, P.C.J., Bruin, J., editors. Plant-Provided Food for Carnivorous Insects: a protective mutualism and its applications. United Kingdom: University Press, Cambridge. p. 137-147.

Tillman, P.G. 2006. Mortality of the corn earworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) on sorghum panicles in Georgia. Journal of Entomological Science. 41(4):292-304.

Tillman, P.G. 2006. Tobacco as a trap crop for Heliothis virescens (F.) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in cotton. Journal of Entomological Science. 41(4):305-320.

Tillman, P.G., Mulrooney, J. E., Snodgrass, G. L. 2003. Comparison of susceptibility of Geocoris punctipes and Lygus lineolaris to insecticides for control of the tarnished plant bug. Southwestern Entomologist. 28(1):47-54.

Olson, D.M., Wackers, F.L. 2007. Management of field margins to maximize multiple ecological services. Journal of Applied Ecology. 44(1):13-21.

Tomberlin, J.K., Rains, G.C., Allan, S.A., Sanford, M.R., Lewis, W.J. 2006. Associative learning of odor with food or blood-meal by culex quinquefasciatus say (diptera: culicidae). Naturwissenschaften. 93(11):551-556.

Olson, D.M., Andow, D.A. 2006. Walking pattern of Trichogramma nubilale Ertle & Davis (Hymenoptera; Trichogrammatidae) on various surfaces. Biological Control. 39:329-335.

Marti, O.G., Olson, D.M. 2007. Effect of tillage on cotton aphids (Homoptera: Aphididae), pathogenic fungi, and predators in south central Georgia cotton fields. Journal of Entomological Science. 42(3):354-367.

Tillman, P.G., Prasifka, J.R., Heniz, K.M. 2007. Rubidium marking to detect dispersal of pest and predator from corn into sorghum and cotton in Georgia. Journal of Entomological Science. 42(3): 383-391.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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