Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Byron, Georgia » Fruit and Tree Nut Research » Research » Research Project #423306

Research Project: Enhancing Natural Enemy Systems; Biocontrol Implementation for Peach Tree Borers

Location: Fruit and Tree Nut Research

2013 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
Develop a sustainable management system for southeastern peaches. Specifically, our objectives are: a) To determine the optimum method of applying entomopathogenic nematodes for control of peachtree borer (on a commercial scale). b) To determine the optimum entomopathogenic nematode formulation for control of lesser peachtree borer. c) To assess the impact of biocontrol applications on natural enemy systems.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
The University of Florida will participate in the above objectives by conducting small plot experiments at a field location in Quincy, FL to determine optimum methods to apply nematodes for peachtree borer control, and optimum formulations for lesser peachtree borer control. Additionally, University of Florida will conduct extension/outreach activities to disperse research findings to Florida peach growers. Three methods of entomopathogenic nematode application (trunk sprayer, microjet irrigation, and herbicide boom) will be compared under field conditions for efficacy in suppression of peachtree borer. A variety (approximately 6) of formulations will be field-tested for their ability to protect nematodes from UV radiation & desiccation, and efficacy in suppressing lesser peachtree borer. Outreach will include a variety of activities such as field-days, Fact-Sheets, grower meetings, webinars, and trade journal articles.

3. Progress Report:
This research related to inhouse objective 3. Develop alternative control strategies for key peach pests (plum curculio, peachtree borers, and stink bugs). The project is aimed at developing an advanced pest management system for control of peachtree borers based on the use of entomopathogenic nematodes. Thus, far, the Byron station has initiated studies to improve entomopathogenic nematode formulation and enable effective use in aboveground applications for lesser peachtree borer control; additionally, field trials to optimize application methods for peachtree borer were initiated. The project promises to reduce chemical inputs and enhance sustainable agriculture.

4. Accomplishments