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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Location: Innovative Fruit Production, Improvement and Protection

Project Number: 8080-21000-024-15-A
Project Type: Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2011
End Date: Aug 31, 2016

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB), Halyomorpha halys (Stal), is an invasive insect native to China, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan that has emerged as a pest of unprecedented importance to specialty crops in the United States. Currently, BMSB is well established throughout DE, MD, PA, NJ, VA, and WV, and has been officially detected in 36 states and the District of Columbia. BMSB is a polyphagous pest of numerous specialty crops in Asia. In 2010, BMSB populations increased dramatically and attacked many high-value specialty crops in the mid-Atlantic region. Damage in commercial orchard crops reached critical levels with some growers losing entire blocks of stone and pome fruit. In addition, extensive damage and crop losses were reported for peppers, tomatoes, sweet corn, caneberries, and grapes. Damage to woody and herbaceous ornamentals also was severe. The risk to other specialty crops, such as snap and lima beans, is considered high, and questions of potential disease transmission and post-harvest issues continue to arise. As the threat to U.S. agriculture posed by spreading BMSB populations continues to increase, there is no established detection method, treatment threshold, or control strategy for BMSB in any cropping system. Therefore, we propose to: 1) establish biology and phenology of BMSB in specialty crops; 2) develop monitoring and management tools for BMSB; 3) establish effective management programs for BMSB in specialty crops; and 4) integrate stakeholder input and research findings to form and deliver practical outcomes.

The threat posed by BMSB to orchard crops, small fruit, grapes, vegetables, and ornamentals is profound. This insect has been officially detected in 36 states and the District of Columbia. We are proposing to rapidly implement a comprehensive plan that includes short-, medium-, and long-term milestones for mitigating the threat to U.S. agriculture. We will identify insecticides that effectively control this invasive species, select materials based on their economic and environmental impacts, and then incorporate them into IPM programs for specific specialty crops. Monitoring tools will be developed to detect BMSB presence, distribution, abundance, and activity, and evaluate behaviorally-based management strategies, such as attract-and-kill, repellency, push-pull and/or mass trapping strategies. We will identify effective biological control agents, cultural control strategies, and other tools and tactics that reduce pesticide inputs, and increase yield and profits. Potential sources of host plant resistance against BMSB among specialty crops will be identified. We will implement biologically- and genetically-based, temporally and spatially relevant control tactics for BMSB in specialty crops using degree-day models, GIS decision support, IPM tools such as trap-based monitoring, attract-and-kill technology, RNAi and genetically altered entomopathogens to increase specialty crop quality and yield, and to reduce environmental impact. Computer vision and pattern recognition tools will be used to develop methods for detection of unapparent BMSB injury in specialty crops during post-harvest. Methods will be developed to detect, reduce, and eliminate BMSB populations and damage at or near harvest for specialty crops destined for storage and/or processing. We will share advances in the development and implementation of effective and innovative tools for BMSB management in specialty crops for diverse audiences. Our Advisory Panel Members will help shape and improve this plan. Guided by the Survey Research Institute, an agricultural economist, and USDA-NASS, we will evaluate local and audience-specific needs using appropriate surveys. Responses will enable us to organize and deliver extension programs and training sessions that best meet the current needs of local, regional, and national stakeholders. We will conduct collaborative research projects with specialty crop growers and producers across the country. The magnitude of the threat posed by BMSB has prompted us to organize cross-institutional commodity teams including orchard crops, small fruit, grapes, vegetables, and ornamentals. These coordinated teams will generate crop-specific information for local, regional, and national Extension, and outreach through print, broadcast, and digital media, in addition to oral presentations at stakeholder and scientific society meetings. The Northeastern IPM Center will coordinate regional and national real-time delivery of BMSB information for specialty crop stakeholders.

Last Modified: 10/16/2017
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