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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Commodity Protection and Quality Research

2011 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
Objective 1: Determine the comparative efficacy of alternative chemicals to methyl bromide and develop methods that keep alternative fumigants as well as methyl bromide out of the atmosphere following postharvest fumigation. • Sub-objective 1.A. Determine efficacy, practicality, and product quality (phytotoxicity) of alternative fumigants such as phosphine, sulfuryl fluoride, propylene oxide, ozone, and others to control postharvest commodity pests. • Sub-objective 1.B. Determine the efficacy of sulfuryl fluoride as an alternative to methyl bromide for use in flour/rice mills by direct comparison in laboratory and field experiments. • Sub-objective 1.C. Test absorbent materials to find more efficient materials than coconut-based activated carbon to recapture methyl bromide and other fumigants. • Sub-objective 1.D. Develop stacking and airflow techniques to maximize the efficiency of capturing methyl bromide from airstreams following commodity fumigation. Objective 2: Electrophysiological and behavioral responses of pests to host compounds • Sub-objective 2.A. Cigarette beetle host attractant identification and behavioral evaluation. • Sub-objective 2.B. Navel Orangeworm host attractant identification and behavioral evaluation. Objective 3: Develop combination quarantine treatments for foreign and domestic hay exports including timothy, alfalfa, oat, Bermuda, and Sudan grass hays and rye straw that utilize hay harvesting and postharvest handling procedures, and apply chemical fumigants to minimize human exposure. Objective 4: Develop models to accurately predict damage to nuts by navel orangeworm and determine the feasibility, accuracy, and precision of these predictions. • Sub-objective 4.A. Develop models for damage in Nonpareil and pollenizer almonds in Kern County based on previous year’s damage, harvest date and/or sanitation efficacy and then determine if these models can be extended to the entire almond belt • Sub-objective 4.B. Determine if the methodologies or models developed for almonds can be used to predict navel orangeworm damage in pistachios • Sub-objective 4.C. Develop models for almonds relating navel orangeworm damage to males captured in pheromone traps within the same year

1b. Approach (from AD-416)
Develop alternative chemical controls and quarantine fumigations for stored product insects. Develop equipment and investigate the feasibility of controlling fumigant emission to the atmosphere by trapping and destruction. Develop combinations of fumigants with other technologies to reduce the dosage of fumigant required to control or eradicate stored product and quarantine insects in durable and perishable commodities. Develop non-chemical control approaches for stored product pests of commodities to reduce the use of methyl bromide. Develop methods to detect infestations by detecting volatile emissions from insects and/or commodity. Develop methods to enhance or maintain quality of perishable commodities and ensure that treatments developed do not reduce quality of persihable commodities or shorten shelf-life. Formerly 5302-43000-030-00D and 5302-43000-028-00D (12/07)

3. Progress Report
Field drying harvested hay in windrows and compression of hay in modern compressors to produce compact export bales were found to cause high levels of mortality of Hessian fly, a pest of regulatory concern in hay exported from the western states to Asia. New volatile collection devices and procedures have been instituted for collecting host volatiles from nut trees and nut clusters. Two methods were adapted to assess pheromone component release ratios from moths and prospective lure formulations and these methods will be applied to volatile collections from individual nuts. Bioassay methods to assess attractiveness of host volatiles were improved for faster discrimination among actual hosts and host volatiles, by test insects. A multi-year study examining trapping and subsequent damage in almonds revealed a low, but statistically significant, association between navel orangeworm males trapped and damage later in the same season. The navel orangeworm is the primary pest of almonds and pistachios in California. The role played by sanitation in reducing the overwintering population of navel orangeworm in these two nut crops was evaluated in Madera and Fresno Counties. Studies continued on the combined ovicidal and neonate larvicidal activity of newly registered insecticides in almonds and pistachios. New studies were begun on the duration of control provided by pyrethroid, growth regulator and anthranilic diamide insecticides in pistachios as well as insecticide coverage in almonds and pistachios. Novel chemical and non-chemical techniques were developed to rapidly disinfest raw products of field pests, control storage pests in processed products amenable to re-infestation and microbial infection, reduce reliance on fumigation as a stand-alone measure for postharvest disinfestations, and minimize the environmental and ecological impact of postharvest processing.

4. Accomplishments

Review Publications
Higbee, B.S., Burks, C.S. 2011. Effect of bait formulation and number of traps on detection of navel orangeworm (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) oviposition using egg traps. Journal of Economic Entomology. 104(1):211-219.

Niu, G., Rupasinghe, S.G., Zangerl, A.R., Siegel, J.P., Schuler, M.A., Berebbaum, M.R. 2011. A substrate-specific cytochrome P450 monooxygenase, CYP6AB11, from the polyphagous navel orangeworm (Amyelois transitella). Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 41(4):244-253.

Burks, C.S., Higbee, B.S., Siegel, J.P., Brandl, D.G. 2011. Comparison of trapping for eggs, females, and males of the navel orangeworm Amyelois transitella (Walker) in almonds. Environmental Entomology. 40(3):706-713.

Yokoyama, V.Y. 2011. Approved quarantine treatment for Hessian fly (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) in large-size bales and Hessian fly and cereal leaf beetle (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) control by bale compression. Journal of Economic Entomology. 104:792-798.

Last Modified: 10/19/2017
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