1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
The objective of this cooperative research project is to enhance economic benefit to Azorean horticultural producers through improved approaches to manage biotic stresses in Azorean fruit cultivation, field trials of new small fruit cultivars for potential commercialization in the Azores, and genetic studies for genotyping Azorean fruit cultivars. This project is part of the Azores Cooperative Initiatives Program (ACIP), as jointly decided in May 2003 by the ACIP Technical Working Group held by the United States Government and the Regional Government of the Azores. ACIP, or rather the requirement to engage in cooperative initiatives with the Azores, Portugal, is mandated in the 1995 US-Portugal Agreement on Cooperation and Defense and further defined in the Final Minute to that agreement. ACIP was created and has been implemented through Department of Defense (DOD) financial resources and relationships with civilian federal agencies and other non-governmental institutions as part of the U.S Government’s commitment to the agreement. DOD has requested and funded the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA/ARS) to serve as the lead civilian agency and facilitator for ACIP. The agreement calls for the strengthening of the economic and social development of the Azores; the identification of areas within which cooperative activities and programs can promote this development; and this cooperation shall be in various areas outlined in the Final Minute, such as agriculture, education, environment, tourism and cultural exchange, civil protection, and social security and health. This cooperative project directly meets these objectives.
1b. Approach (from AD-416)
Support the enhancement of Azorean horticultural production by conducting research to: 1) develop and implement a reliable approach to plant production that reduces crop losses, provides a fair income for the farmer, reduces pesticide use, reduces damage to the natural ecosystems including biodiversity, reduces pesticide residues on crops and stimulates IPM research and educational capabilities in the Azores; 2) conduct field trials of new high-value crops with potential for cultivation in the Azores; 3) genetically identify and characterize several local fruit varieties grown in the Azores. This project is part of the same effort addressed in Project No. 0210-22310-002-61G with Ohio State University.
3. Progress Report
Progress was obtained through face-to-face meetings and site visits, email communications and phone calls between the PI, ARS and Ohio State University scientists. Blueberry trials continued in Furnas and Ponta Delgada In 2010 and 2011. In Furnas, only the variety Emerald produced some fruits in much reduced amount compared to previous years. Fruits were collected between Sept and October 2010. In the Ponta Delgada blueberry trial, the plants of the “Misty” and “O’Neal” varieties (Southern Highbush) had a satisfactory growth rate compared to the “Brigitta”, “Elliot” and “Duke” varieties. Research results to date identified the cultivars most suited to local climate and conditions. The blueberry can be grown commercially and several growers are beginning to plant them. The blackberry field trial produced 290 Kg, an average of 2 Kg per plant. The flowering and harvest season occurred sooner than 2009. In Set 2010, fruits were collected to determine fruit infestation by the Mediterranean fruit fly (medfly). Fruits were weighted and analyzed for the number of perforations made by the fly. Pupae were also counted. The fruits were kept in a plastic bag and maintained at room temperature for 3-4 weeks. The number of perforations and emerging Medfly larvae varied depending on the target fruit such as Brazilian guava, pineapple guava, peach, orange, fig, and pear. Compared to 2009, there was a general decrease in perforation and emerging medfly pupae per gram of fruit collected. The research on the Medfly continued in 2010 at Rabo de Peixe, in San Miguel, and in Lagoa and Faja de Cima, in Ponta Delgada. The protocol established with SYNGENTA to study the control system ADRESS was maintained. Research trials were carried out to evaluate the management of the Japanese beetles with the fungus Metarhizium robertsii. This fungi is known to attack insects. This is the final report of this agreement.