1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
To determine infection rates among species of white grub complex, compare formulations for efficacy, and evaluate application timing and application rates.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
White grubs are pests of turf because they feed on roots of grass plants and are typically controlled by the application of chemical insecticides. This project evaluates fungal biopesticides made with Metarhizium anisopliae as an alternative to chemical control. The unique aspect of this proposal is that the fungus is applied in a unique form. Recent discoveries using liquid fermentation techniques have resulted in production of a fungal structure known as microsclerotia. This structure can be formulated for application to soil environments where the microsclerotia germinate and each produced many infective conidial spores. Objectives include. 1)determining relative susceptibility of three common grub species to the fungus,. 2)compare formulations of the fungal biopesticides for control efficacy when applied under field conditions, and. 3)determine rates and timing of applications for optimal grub control under field conditions.
As the first phase of this project, efforts have been initiated to establish laboratory colonies of target insects and to establish field plots for experiments to be conducted in the fall for the evaluation of Metarhizium (Met) microsclerotial formulations for grub control. Also, a specific cooperative agreement (SCA) (Project Number 3620-22410-014-04S) has been established with Purdue University for field evaluation of granular formulations of Met microsclerotia for control of white grubs in turf grass. The research project outlined by this SCA will be conducted in the early fall and progress will be monitored by electronic communication and site visits.