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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Location: Innovative Fruit Production, Improvement and Protection

2013 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
The objectives of this project include: 1) evaluation of existing and novel monitoring tools for the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB)in commercial apple orchards; 2) defining relative host preference and susceptibility of apple compared with other relevant crops; 3) evaluating the efficacy of currently labeled insecticides to manage the BMSB in apple orchards; and 4) identify novel attractants for use in monitoring traps.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
The BMSB has emerged as an extremely destructive pest of tree fruit throughout the mid-Atlantic. The intent of this work will be to develop effective monitoring and management tools for the BMSB in apple orchards. The work will be conducted in collaboration with affected commercial growers over a two-year period.

3. Progress Report:
Several projects have been initiated to develop monitoring and management tools for brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB). A demonstration trial in commercial apple and peach orchards in northern and central Virginia compared a prescribed insecticide program with grower standard programs against BMSB and other direct pests. The prescribed program was developed and based on insecticides that showed the greatest efficacy against BMSB in laboratory bioassays. A second project designed to determine the incidence of BMSB injury on apple and peach fruit at discrete intervals throughout the fruiting period provided additional information on the expression of injury and its severity at harvest based on when it occurred. Sets of 50 fruit were exposed to natural BMSB populations for ~30 day intervals throughout the growing season and otherwise, protected by enclosing them in screened exclusion cages. The study was initiated in May and used 'Redhaven' peaches and 'Golden Delicious' apples, and was repeated over two seasons. A related project on apple determined how injury from BMSB feeding during the final weeks before harvest was expressed at harvest and after a period in cold storage. Adult BMSB were introduced to sets of 20 fruit for seven-day intervals beginning four weeks prior to harvest. At harvest, fruit were assessed for external injury, then placed in cold storage for evaluation of injury at regular intervals. We also found that it takes about 2-3 weeks for expression of injury on apple after feeding by BMSB, but that there is variation among cultivars. We also initiated a new study regarding the utility of detector dogs to locate BMSB overwintering in the natural landscape. Found that with proper training, dogs were able to locate bugs overwintering beneath the bark of dead, standing trees in wooded environments.

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 10/17/2017
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