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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Enhancing Biological Control to Stabilize Western Orchard IPM Systems
2010 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
The overall objective is to improve the sustainability of apple, pear, and walnut cropping systems in the western U.S., by developing knowledge and tools that would allow growers to take full advantage of biological control in their orchards.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
• Objective 1: Evaluate the sublethal effects of newer pesticides on key natural enemies in laboratory assays, and in apple, pear, and walnut orchards • Objective 2: Characterize the phenology of key natural enemies using banding studies in the fall and orchard sampling during the spring and summer • Objective 3: Evaluate semiochemicals as a method of monitoring natural enemy presence, abundance, and phenology; assess effectiveness of this tool in evaluating the effects of inseticides on natural enemies; and compare sampling efficacy of these products to results of sampling done using beating trays • Objective 4: Develop methods in gut contents analysis to monitor predation of codling moth by generalist natural enemies, and confirm gut contents results using video monitoring. Documents Reimbursable agreement with Washington State University (CSREES Specialty Crops Research Initiative). Log 37158.


3.Progress Report

The project goal is to better understand which predacious insects and spiders are valuable for the control of insect pests in the tree fruit cropping systems so that they can be protected by more judicious insecticide use. We are testing the effects of several insecticides on beneficial arthropods to identify which insecticides are compatible with biorational management of pests. Two of seven pesticides cause rapid death of five species of spiders which are common predators in orchards. Three newer insecticides produced less mortality but reduced egg production in survivors. Two commonly used fungicides showed no negative effects. Monitoring activities and progress on this project were accomplished by direct supervision of on-site employees, and use of site visits, email and telephone to communicate with off-site collaborators.


Last Modified: 10/21/2014
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