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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: AN AREAWIDE CONTROL PROGRAM FOR NAVEL ORANGEWORM

Location: Commodity Protection and Quality

2008 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
1. Implement an area-wide IPM program that will reduce navel orangeworm damage, aflatoxin contamination, and broad-spectrum insecticide use throughout the Central Valley. 2. Collect baseline data characterizing the experimental plots in terms of NOW population density, historic levels of damage, sanitation efficacy, and the cost of current practices. Compare the efficacy of current and proposed NOW management programs using cost/benefit analysis. 3. Identify key variables responsible for both consistent control and program failure and analyze the relative importance of these variables using epidemiological/epizootiological statistics. 4. Expand an existing damage prediction model for Nonpareil almond damage that is based on Kern County data, to the other growing regions in the Central Valley; and develop a damage prediction model for pollenizer varieties of almonds and validate the model in the different growing regions. 5. Determine the role played by NOW movement among multiple hosts on the efficacy of the new management practices demonstrated. 6. Create NOW damage databases using grower-provided data that can identify high-risk areas for each commodity within a county and utilize these databases to develop a better understanding of the distribution of both NOW infestation and aflatoxin contamination within and between counties. 7. Work with farm advisers and an advisory council to develop educational programs and training materials to instruct growers on the strategies demonstrated in the area-wide proposal.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Establish and implement an areawide pest management research and action program for navel orangeworm management which (a) results from a stakeholder partnership and collaboration dedicated to the demonstration and areawide adoption of navel orangeworm control technologies; (b) demonstrates the positive impacts and advantages of such a program through enhanced grower profits, reduced worker risks, an enhanced environment, and a proven superiority of area-wide adoption; and (c) achieves a mature navel orangeworm management system so end-users, consultants and other interested parties will be left with an operation program that will meet the overall goals through its wide-scale adoption. This will require the development of a unified effort between Federal, State, local and private interests, and whose participants will be involved in the program from conception to adoption.


3.Progress Report
Began implementation of the first phase of an areawide pest management research and action program for navel orangeworm management in almonds, pistachios and walnuts. Six cooperators were enlisted from the University of California and University of California Cooperative Extension based at Berkeley and Davis, Specific Cooperative Agreements are being developed. Three ARS entomologists based in Parlier, CA are also involved in this project and are collaborating with UC and industry researchers. Sites were selected in northern, central and southern regions to collect baseline data and these sites will be used to demonstrate mating disruption in the next two years. The ongoing research of the ARS scientists was integrated with this project and joint projects were initiated with UC researchers. One technology transfer seminar was held in June at the Tulare County Agriculture Center to present the current research of the ARS and industry researchers to an audience of almond growers, pistachio growers and pest control advisers. The success of this areawide project is dependent on the collaborative efforts of ARS, University of California and industry researchers. A series of demonstration and research projects in almonds, pistachios and walnuts will be conducted. Two specific cooperative agreements were finalized in late July. This relates to NP308, Component 2.


4.Accomplishments
1. Quantified life span and reproductive capacity of navel orangeworm

The navel orangeworm is an important pest of almonds, a crop worth over $2 billion annually. Treatment in almonds is usually targeted against the first and/or second adult flights, in April-May and June-July. ARS researchers in the Commodity Protection and Quality Research Unit in Parlier, CA found that females live longer than males under flight 1 conditions and lay eggs over a more prolonged period compared to flight 2, in which males live longer. These findings will help pest management by improving interpretation of trap data and showing the window of opportunity for pest management methods targeted against reproductive females and newly-hatched larvae. This research addresses National Program 308, Component 2, Problem Statement B.

2. Determined phenology of navel orangeworm

The navel orangeworm is an important pest of almonds and pistachios which are worth over $2.5 billion annually. The first flight of navel orangeworm in pistachios establishes this pest in the orchard for the season. An ARS researcher in the Commodity Protection and Quality Research Unit in Parlier, CA determined peak adult emergence using field collected pistachios and in collaboration with another USDA researcher compared these peaks to data collected from trapping adults. This information will be used to determine the optimal time for insecticide use targeting this flight and reduce NOW damage. This research addresses National Program 308, Component 2, Problem Statement B.

3. Compared attractancy of different hosts for navel orangeworm attraction and oviposition

The navel orangeworm, a major pest of almonds and pistachios in California, lays its eggs on mummy nuts and susceptible new crop nuts. Host selection is believed to be odor based, thus appropriate bioassays need to be established to determine the best hosts, and volatile collections of these hosts will then be assessed to develop a synthetic blend to be used for monitoring or control. USDA researchers established volatile collection protocols. Suitable hosts for NOW will become available later in the season after which bioassays for host preference will commence. These assays will provide insight into the relative attractancy of different hosts as well as the importance of the age of nuts. This information will be used to develop lures to monitor females as well as optimize the use of mating disruption. This research addresses National Program 308, Component 2, Problem Statement B.


5.Significant Activities that Support Special Target Populations
None.


6.Technology Transfer

Number of Non-Peer Reviewed Presentations and Proceedings5

Last Modified: 9/21/2014
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