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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Related Topics

Research Project: Best Practices for Predator Releases: Lacewings, Beetles, and Mites

Location: Fruit and Vegetable Insect Research

2010 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
1. Survey organic orchards on predator release practices 2. Develop methods to allow differentiation between released and naturally occurring predators 3. Develop methods to optimize release methods 4. Conduct laboratory trials to compare efficacy of reared and released species


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Organic apple growers will be surveyed to determine extent to which insectary reared natural enemies are released as components of biological control programs in orchards. We will develop molecular methods allowing us to differentiate among field-collected predators originating from releases versus naturally occurring populations. Tests of release efficacy will be done by comparing pest and predator densities in areas of the orchard receiving releases and areas in which no releases are made. Field trials will be done to assess how release methods (numbers released, timing of releases, stages of predator released, method of release) influences efficacy. Laboratory trials will be done to confirm that insectary-reared predators feed and develop on target pests. Documents Trust with WA Tree Fruit Research Commission. Log 41879. Formerly 5352-22000-017-62T (6/2010).


3.Progress Report

The goal of this study is to improve the performance of predatory insects released to control insect and mite pests in orchards. Studies just begun are testing which of four diets produce ladybeetles which are most likely to lay eggs once released in orchards instead of flying away. Methods for applying the eggs of lacewings onto apple trees are also being tested. Monitoring of 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: 10/1/2014
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