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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

2011 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
Mating disruption to manage the navel orange worm, a lepidopteran pest of almonds, was expanded to 30,000 acres in the San Joaquin Valley. Optimal insecticide application was demonstrated in the San Joaquin Valley. The efficacy of Intrepid, Belt and Altacor was demonstrated in both almonds and pistachios, enabling these new chemistries to be used to support mating disruption or as stand alone treatments. The importance of sanitation to reduce navel orangeworm damage was demonstrated in field trials as well as the linkage of navel orangeworm damage and aflatoxin contamination.


4.Accomplishments
1. Ovicidal and neonate activity of insecticides in almonds. Almonds are the largest California nut crop (>1.7 billion pounds) and the navel orangeworm is the primary pest during production. The degree of ovicidal and neonate activity of the newly registered insecticides in almonds has not been established and this information is necessary to improve control. Two new classes of insecticides, anthranilic diamide and diacyl hydrazine, were shown by ARS researchers in Parlier, California, to be toxic to navel orangeworm eggs and newly hatched larvae (up to 97% kill). Their use will replace broad spectrum insecticides and they are compatible with mating disruption. Identification of ovicidal activity will change spray timing (insecticides will go on earlier) and will improve control and minimize nontarget effects.

2. Sample costs to establish an orchard and produce almonds. There has not been an economic analysis of the cost of producing almonds for the past 15 years despite the growth of this industry. A UC Davis economist, supported by this areawide project, completed a cost-and-return analysis for almonds in 2011. The results, published in Ag Alert and presented at the annual Almond Board of California Conference in Modesto, are available at http://coststudies.ucdavis.edu/files/AlmondSprinkleVN2011.pdf. The total cost of production is $3,974 per acre, of which Insects and Gophers account for $328 (8.25%). This information will allow growers to determine the cost/benefit of new strategies developed by this project including mating disruption and the use of softer insecticide chemistries.


Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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