Enhancing Natural Enemy Systems: Biocontrol Implementation for Peachtree Borers
Fruit and Nut Research
2012 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
1. To determine the optimum method of applying entomopathogenic nematodes for control of peachtree borer.
2. To determine the optimum formulation of applying entomopathogenic nematodes for control of lesser peachtree borer.
3. To assess the impact of entomopathogenic nematodes application on the indigenous natural enemy complex.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Three methods of entomopathogenic nematode application (trunk sprayer, microjet irrigation, and herbicide boom) will be compared under field conditions for efficacy in suppression of peachtree borer. A variety (ca. 12) of formulations will be field-tested for their ability to protect nematodes from UV radiation and desiccation, and efficacy in suppressing lesser peachtree borer. Laboratory tests on nematode viability in the various formulations will support field data. Field surveys of indigenous natural enemies will be implemented.
This project relates to Objective 3 of this in house project. Peachtree borer and lesser peachtree borer are key pests of stone fruit (e.g., peach, plum, cherries). The project is aimed at developing an advanced pest management system for control of peachtree borers based on the use of entomopathogenic nematodes.
Thus, far, the ARS PI at Byron station has initiated studies to improve entomopathogenic nematode formulation and enable effective use in aboveground applications for lesser peachtree borer control. The project promises to reduce chemical inputs and enhance sustainable agriculture.