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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Wapato, Washington » Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research » Research » Research Project #415251

Research Project: Enhancing Biological Control to Stabilize Western Orchard IPM Systems

Location: Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research

2011 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
The overall objective is to improve the sustainability of apple, pear, and walnut cropping systems in the western U.S., by developing knowledge and tools that would allow growers to take full advantage of biological control in their orchards.

1b. Approach (from AD-416)
• Objective 1: Evaluate the sublethal effects of newer pesticides on key natural enemies in laboratory assays, and in apple, pear, and walnut orchards • Objective 2: Characterize the phenology of key natural enemies using banding studies in the fall and orchard sampling during the spring and summer • Objective 3: Evaluate semiochemicals as a method of monitoring natural enemy presence, abundance, and phenology; assess effectiveness of this tool in evaluating the effects of inseticides on natural enemies; and compare sampling efficacy of these products to results of sampling done using beating trays • Objective 4: Develop methods in gut contents analysis to monitor predation of codling moth by generalist natural enemies, and confirm gut contents results using video monitoring.

3. Progress Report
This project is an extension of research on the management of insect pests of temperate tree fruits and addresses objective 4 of the related in-house project. This project relates to national program component NP 304 2A - Protection of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops, Biology and Ecology of Pests and Natural Enemies by identifying pesticides that may interfere with biologically-based control of pests in fruit crops. “Non-target effects of insecticides” Market forces and regulations have reduced the use of broad-spectrum insecticides in favor of those meant to be less harmful to human health and safer for beneficial insects and spiders. Reduction of beneficial predators in orchards can lead to secondary pest outbreaks that require additional insecticides to be used. Research by ARS entomologists at the Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory with scientists at Washington State University, UC Berkeley and Oregon State University have identified three new insecticides used by growers that cause reduced survival of beneficial predatory spiders and insects predators. The information is being provided to growers so they can choose alternative control tactic. Monitoring of activities and progress on this project was accomplished by direct supervision of on-site employees, and use of site visits, email and telephone to communicate with off-site collaborators.

4. Accomplishments