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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Areawide Pest Management of Fruit Flies in Hawaii

Location: Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research

2012 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
To develop and integrate sustainable tephritid fruit fly management methods in areawide demonstration projects; to form long-term partnerships among federal, state, and the private sector. To transfer to growers economical and ecologically sound technologies to manage tephritid fruit flies on fruits and vegetables, and to enhance the export market. The objectives are to be met by the development and implementation of on-farm areawide pest management partnership demonstration in the Hawaiian islands.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
Through cooperation with stakeholders and with the help of University, state, federal, and private research agencies, we plan to demonstrate and implement the use of one or more of the following technologies to reduce populations of the four (4) species of fruit flies that attack agricultural crops. 1) Mass-trapping/male annihilation, 2) bait sprays/bait stations, 3) augmentative parasite releases, and 4) sterile fly releases. Evaluation of the effectiveness of these technologies and cost-benefit analysis will be conducted to determine program success.

3. Progress Report:
This Area-Wide Pest Management Project 0500-00044-029-00D is being extended to allow for completion of one active SCA (0500-00044-029-01S). The AWPM program no longer receives funding. This project will be continued for another year then terminated with the outstanding SCA. The Area-Wide Pest Management Program (AWPM) is one of the most important and heavily cited success stories at the Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center during the past five years. Technology development was done primarily through the Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research Unit and was the culmination of many years of research. The AWPM program promoted inter-institutional cooperation between ARS, University of Hawaii and the Hawaii Department of Agriculture to help solve one of the most important agricultural problems in Hawaii for local farmers with a combination of sanitation, reduced risk insecticides, and biological control. It has been the recepient of seven major IPM awards for excellence. The success of the AWPM program had international impacts on fruit fly management, as many other countries are also facing similar problems. Researchers and officials from Australia, People's Republic of China, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Island, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Reunion, Senegal, Kenya, Taiwan, Mexico, among others, have expressed interest in or adopted the program as a model for fruit fly suppression.

4. Accomplishments
1. Reduced-risk formulations for fruit fly control. We are currently finishing methyl eugenol (ME) and cure-lure (C-L) formulation trials (advanced trials) with respect to weathering in California. SPLAT-MAT-ME spinosad and Min-U-Gel with naled formulations were weathered in Riverside, California, shipped to PBARC in Hawaii for bioassays and DAS (Indianapolis, IN) for chemical analysis. Research results have been used to define use patterns and register SPAT-MAT-spinosad-ME with USEPA. We have obtained a label and the product has been licensed in both California and Hawaii. SPLAT-MAT-ME/and C-L field tests were completed in Hawaii and California with oriental fruit fly and melon fly. Further data are being collected in a demonstration trial in papaya orchards to provide important information for development of an environmentally friendly area-wide IPM tool for fruit flies without organophosphate insecticides for use in Hawaii in fruit orchards and a new eradication tool for use in California and Florida.

2. Statewide adoptation of 2,747 users, 682 farms, and 16,785 acres of AWPM practice.

3. Registration of fruit fly lures. EPA registration of GF-120, methyl eugenol and cue-lure. Chemical attractants for use in areawide detection and control programs are not registered for use by EPA. Scientist at PBARC and industry collaborators worked together to submit the data package used for the approval by EPA. The registration of the above fruit fly lures made it possible for growers to legally use these chemicals to control fruit flies in Hawaii.

4. Farmer taught to reduce organophosphate in orchards and increase environmental sustainability. The implementation of the areawide fruit fly program resulted in a significant reduction in pesticide use. Use of registered and unregistered pesticides were used widely to control fruit flies in Hawaii before the areawide program. Researchers at PBARC, HDOA, UH-CTAHR, and industry worked together to teach farmers how to safely use the registered pesticides. Organophosphate insecticide use was reduced significantly and resulted in greater sustainability of Hawaii’s scarce farmlands.

5. Areawide fruit fly control program saves money. A cost-benefit analysis of the areawide fruit fly program showed a significant return on investment as a result of implementation of the program. Large scale programs often do not result in measurable benefit over time relative to the high costs of initiating such programs. The independent cost-benefit analysis was conducted by an agricultural economist with input from growers, researchers and other participants and projected though a 5, 10, 15 yr cycle. The results of the study suggests that as much as a 32% return on investment of initial costs if the program was maintained for 15 years not counting indirect benefits such as employment or environmental impacts.

Last Modified: 07/25/2017
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