Location: Fruit and Nut Research
Project Number: 6606-22000-021-00
Start Date: Oct 01, 2005
End Date: Sep 30, 2010
Research to control arthropod pests involves development of IPM programs. Biological control efforts focus on developing entomopathogens (e.g., nematodes and fungi) to suppress pecan weevil and peachtree borer. A multifaceted improvement program is being employed to enhance entomopathogenic nematode and fungus efficacy and persistence; the program includes survey and genetic enhancement of strains, improved formulations, refinement of application, mass production, and conservation methods, and pertinent basic studies e.g., on beneficial trait stability. Other research on improved pest management focuses on efficacy of chemical insecticides applied to target-specific areas, soft chemistry and plant derived pesticide alternatives, and physical barriers to protect the crop. IPM and monitoring efforts focus on stink bug movement across agricultural landscapes. Additionally, emergence/post-emergence behavior of adult and larval pecan weevils will be studied to better time application of control measures. Research efforts on pecan focus on control of pecan weevil, aphids, and stink bugs, but may also include efforts to control hickory shuckworm, pecan nut casebearer, and other pest complexes. Research efforts on peach focus on development of control of strategies for sesiid borers using mating disruption and entomopathogenic nematodes; IPM for plum curculio management; and impact of root-feeding weevils.