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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Reduction in Navel Orange Worm Damage in Pistachio Orchards Using Cultural and Chemical Control Methods

Location: Healthy Processed Foods Research

Project Number: 2030-41430-001-01-T
Project Type: Trust Fund Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2010
End Date: Sep 30, 2015

The overall objective of the proposal is to reduce Navel Orange Worm (NOW) damage in pistachios and increase the quality of harvested nuts by a combination of changes in cultural and chemical control methods combined with grower education. The objective of the ARS portion is to find new methods of destroying overwintering nuts (mummies) on the ground and to investigate the feasibility of using x-ray based ionizing radiation to sterilize insects inside the mummies.

A mower type technique which removes the nuts from the orchard floor and grinds them into pulp will be developed. Adaptations of mower techniques that work well for walnuts and almonds will be investigated to overcome the physical differences between those products and pistachios. Methods for separating nuts from dirt and rocks for input into the grinding mechanism will be developed. Laboratory based experiments will be conducted to determine the feasibility of x-ray sterilization of insects inside mummies. If this is successful a working prototype will be developed and tested in the field.

Last Modified: 10/16/2017
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