Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: INTEGRATED WATER, NUTRIENT AND PEST MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES FOR SUBTROPICAL CROPS
2012 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
1) Develop or adapt methods and models to detect and predict interactions between irrigation and nutrient applications and pests in economically important crop systems to minimize inputs and costs;.
2)determine the influence of spatial and temporal variation within and among fields in landscapes on specialty crop growth, insect responses, and overall system performance; and.
3)develop production management strategies to improve water use efficiency, reduce environmental impacts and increase water conservation through reuse for economically important crops grown in sub-tropical regions.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Quantify and model relationships between water, soil properties, pest dynamics, and plant properties with the aim of improving crop yield, quality and economic return on sub-tropical crops. Biochemical and physical sensor technologies will be developed and evaluated as gauges of system responses to water availability and other inputs. Remote sensing technologies will be developed or adapted to evaluate effects of field- and watershed-scale spatial and temporal variabilities on water use efficiency and input management strategies. Resulting knowledge will be integrated into novel management practices that improve water use efficiency, crop productivity, environmental servicing, and profitability of sub-tropical farming enterprises.


3.Progress Report:
During the life of this project, progress was made on all objectives. Sugarcane insect and crop cultural practices were studied to improve crop productivity and reduce environmental problems associated with sugarcane production; pest resistant varieties were identified and effects of deficient irrigation on productivity were quantified. Soil amendments, crop, water, and residue management techniques were evaluated for citrus, sugarcane, blackberries, and watermelons; soil amendments such as composts, have been shown to be beneficial. Work on the Asian citrus psyllid and greasy spot disease in grapefruit produced promising results for control of these important diseases. Other work showed that alternative crop residue practices can improve crop nutrient uptake efficiency and water relations. New knowledge of nutrient movement through commercial weed barriers demonstrated the utility of synthetic mulches for organic vegetable fertilization.


Review Publications
Makus, D.J. 2011. Use of synthetic ground covers to control weeds in blackberries. International Journal of Fruit Science. 11(3):286-298.

Yang, C., Everitt, J.H., Goolsby, J. 2011. Mapping giant reed (Arundo donax) infestations along the Texas-Mexico portion of the Rio Grande using aerial photography. Journal of Invasive Plant Science and Management. 4:402-410.

Malik, N.S., Perez, J.L., Patt, J.M., Zibilske, L.M., Mangan, R.L. 2012. Increased infestation of Asian citrus psyllids on cold treated sour orange seedlings: Its possible relation to biochemical changes in leaves. Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment. 10(2):424-429.

Yang, X., Malik, N.S., Perez, J.L., Liu, T. 2011. Impact of potato psyllid (Hemiptera: Triozide) feeding on free amino acid composition in potato. Insect Science. 18(6):663-670.

Last Modified: 12/22/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page