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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Refining Chemical Control of Vine Mealybug to Manage Resistance, Enhance Natural Enemy Conservation and Promote Integrated Control
2011 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
We will evaluate the performance of selective insecticides against vine mealybug and determine compatibility with natural enemies. We will measure the relative toxicities of the new generation of reduced-risk insecticides and establish a baseline as part of a resistance management program.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
We will evaluate the impact of various reduced-risk insecticides on vine mealybug infestations and on its natural enemies. Both field and laboratory work will be involved to determine insecticide efficacies and management potential of various treatment regimens.


3.Progress Report

The rapid spread and increasingly severe infestations of the vine mealybug (VMB), Planococcus ficus (Signoret) continue to represent a formidable challenge to grape production in California. The cryptic nature of VMB on grapevines above and below ground presents a difficult management problem that has been addressed primarily through chemical control. The recent introduction of newer and more selective insecticides presents an opportunity to more fully integrate chemical and biological control and potentially reduce dependency on insecticides while improving Integrated Pest Mangement (IPM) sustainability. Various chemical control regimens were tested in the field during 2010 and are again being tested in 2011 for determining insecticide efficacies, impact on beneficial insects, and susceptibility changes in VMB. Emphasis has been placed on reduced-risk and VMB-selective insecticides that encourage natural enemy activity. Members of the Project Team are affiliated with the University of California and USDA-ARS, both strong institutional supporters of developing effective and sustainable IPM. The Project Team along with grower and industry partners will design field experiments to meet current production standards and address future needs of the California grape industry. Grower support has been indispensable for establishing field experiments under usual production conditions. The backing and input by various agrochemical companies whose products will be evaluated for control of VMB also add to the project partnership. An information-based IPM program will be developed from data generated in this project that will permit a more holistic integration of chemical and biological controls. An outreach and education program will make available findings and provide specific recommendations for effective, economical and sustainable management of VMB. Measuring the outcome of program development may be difficult without an experimental control group, but indirect assessment may be possible by evaluating pesticide use records before and after program implementation. However, one significant outcome will be.
1)a more complete knowledge of the activity of insecticides in the crop against VMB and its natural enemies. Effective and sustainable IPM must depend on scientifically validated findings rather than intuition. In addition, a.
2)resistance monitoring database will be established that will facilitate resistance management efforts and prolong insecticide efficacies.


Last Modified: 12/18/2014
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