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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Kearneysville, West Virginia » Appalachian Fruit Research Laboratory » Innovative Fruit Production, Improvement, and Protection » Research » Research Project #426211

Research Project: Integrated Orchard Management and Automation for Deciduous Tree Fruit Crops

Location: Innovative Fruit Production, Improvement, and Protection

2017 Annual Report

1: Improve understanding of deciduous tree fruit stress responses and develop cultural strategies and technologies to ameliorate abiotic stress with different tree architectures and rootstock-scion combinations. 1.A. Develop and test novel genetic sources and tree architectures for increased water use efficiency. 1.B. Characterize key biochemical and physiological processes regulating fruit tree architecture and genetic-environmental interactions. 1.C. Develop cultural management practices that include rootstock and shoot architectures that are stress tolerant and improve production efficiency in high density plantings. 1.D. Develop rudimentary apple orchard carbon budget. 2: Develop new devices/technology for dectection and control of invasive and native insects in fruit crops including, but not limited to, brown marmorated stink bug, spotted wing drosophila, and the native plum curculio. 2.A. Identify and utilize attractive behavioral cues, including olfactory and visual stimuli, to develop sensitive monitoring tools and behaviorally-based control strategies within the production system that reduce insecticide inputs to increase profitability and sustainability. 2.B. Develop monitoring and management tools for the invasive brown marmorated stink bug, spotted wing drosophila, and the native plum curculio using the knowledge developed in Sub-objective 2.A. 3: Develop and apply computer vision for mechanization of orchard practices including, but not limited to, pruning. 3.A. Refine computer vision system for three-dimensional shape modeling of trees, including different tree growth habits. 3.B. Integrate computer vision system and robotics for pruning.

This project proposes the development and integration of entomological, horticultural, and engineering technology to solve major problems affecting temperate tree fruit production, the sustainability and environmental impact of tree fruit production, and consumer acceptance of tree fruits. Novel arthropod management techniques will be developed through identification of olfactory or visual cues in order to implement insect behavioral manipulation strategies that will improve monitoring and control of key insect pests. Improved light and water management will be developed through training systems that include different tree growth habits that are amenable to orchard automation and through improved understanding of hormones, rootstocks, and growth habit to optimize carbon partitioning, tree development, and water use efficiency. Future mechanization of orchard operations will be facilitated by newly developed tree management systems to improve light penetration in novel tree growth habits and by algorithms for the visualization of tree branches. The technologies and knowledge developed within this project are components of management systems that integrate behaviorally-based monitoring and management of arthropods, optimal tree architecture, and orchard automation that result in the production of high quality fruit with stable annual yields. The broad base of expertise in the research program will develop and integrate the most appropriate technologies to solve the key problems of tree fruit production. Productive and sustainable tree fruit production systems will benefit both consumers and global competitiveness of U.S. growers.

Progress Report
Visually attractive attract-and-kill devices for spotted wing drosophila (SWD) are being evaluated in small fruit plantings on commercial farms in six states across the country for their protective capacity during fruit ripening. Further trials aimed at integrating compatible cultural practices are ongoing. Continued trials aimed at further refining pheromone-based monitoring tools and attract-and-kill strategies for brown marmorated stink bug continue in experimental and commercial orchards. The robot/computer vision system for estimating tree shape autonomously has been tested extensively in field conditions in New York and West Virginia, including a variety of tree shapes. Key portions of the system were refined, such as that of segmenting the tree regions from the background in images. The error of the entire system to estimate tree traits of branch length, angle, and diameter were assessed.


Review Publications
Hernandez-Cumplido, J., Leskey, T.C., Holdcraft, R., Zaman, F.U., Hahn, N.G., Rodriguez-Saona, C. 2017. Tempo-spatial dynamics of adult plum curculio (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) based on semiochemical-baited trap captures in blueberries. Environmental Entomology. DOI: 10.1093/ee/nvx047.
Kuhar, T.P., Short, B.D., Krawczyk, G., Leskey, T.C. 2017. Deltamethrin-incorporated nets as an integrated pest management tool for the invasive Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae). Journal of Economic Entomology. DOI: 10.1093/jee/tow321.
Morrison III, W.R., Poling, B.N., Leskey, T.C. 2016. The consequences of sublethal exposure to insecticide on the survivorship and mobility of Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae). Pest Management Science. 73:389-396.
Rice, K.B., Short, B.D., Jones, S.K., Leskey, T.C. 2016. Behavioral responses of Drosophila suzukii (Diptera: Drosophilidae) to visual stimuli under laboratory, semifield, and field conditions. Environmental Entomology. 45(6):1480-1488.
Morrison III, W.R., Lee, D., Reissig, W.H., Combs, D., Leahy, K., Tuttle, A., Cooley, D., Leskey, T.C. 2016. Inclusion of specialist and generalist stimuli in attract-and-kill programs: their relative efficacy in apple maggot fly (Diptera: Tephritidae) pest management. Environmental Entomology. 45(4):974-982.
Leskey, T.C., Lee, D., Glenn, D.M., Morrison III, W.R. 2015. Behavioral responses of the invasive Halyomorpha halys (Stål) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) to light-based stimuli in the laboratory and field. Journal of Insect Behavior. 28(6):674-692.
Acebes-Doria, A.L., Leskey, T.C., Bergh, C. 2017. Temporal and directional patterns of nymphal Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) movement on the trunk of selected wild and fruit tree hosts in the Mid-Atlantic Region. Environmental Entomology. 46(2):258-267.
Bergh, J.C., Morrison III, W.R., Leskey, T.C. 2017. Characterizing spring emergence of adult Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) using overwintering shelters and pheromone traps. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata. 162:336-345.
Short, B.D., Khrimian, A., Leskey, T.C. 2016. Pheromone-based decision support tools for management of Halyomorpha halys in apple orchards: development of a trap-based treatment threshold. Journal of Pest Science. doi: 10.1007/s10340-016-0812-1.
Rice, K.B., Short, B.D., Leskey, T.C. 2017. Development of an attract-and-kill strategy for Drosophila suzukii (Diptera: Drosophilidae): evaluation of attracticidal spheres under laboratory and field conditions. Journal of Economic Entomology. DOI: 10.1093/jee/tow319.
Blaauw, B.R., Morrison III, W.R., Mathews, C., Leskey, T.C., Nielsen, A. 2017. Measuring host plant selection and retention of Halyomorpha halys by a trap crop. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata. 163:197-208.
Morrison III, W.R., Bryant, A.N., Poling, B., Quinn, N.F., Leskey, T.C. 2017. Predation of Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) from web-building spiders associated with anthropogenic dwellings. Journal of Insect Behavior. 30:70-85.
Morrison III, W.R., Park, C., Seo, B., Park, Y., Kim, H., Rice, K.B., Lee, D., Leskey, T.C. 2016. Attraction of the invasive Halyomorpha halys in its native Asian range to traps baited with semiochemical stimuli. Journal of Pest Science. DOI: 10.1007/s10340-016-0816-x.
Tabb, A., Ahmad Yousef, K.M. 2017. Solving the robot-world, hand-eye(s) calibration problem with iterative methods. Machine Vision and Applications. DOI: 10.1007/s00138-017-0841-7.
Glenn, D.M. 2016. Dry matter partitioning and photosynthetic response to biennial bearing and freeze damage in 'Empire' apple. Scientia Horticulturae. 210:1-5.
Glenn, D.M. 2016. Effect of highly processed calcined kaolin residues on apple water use efficiency. Scientia Horticulturae. 205:127-132.
Rodrigues, W.P., Machado Filho, J.A., A.M.M.A. Figueiredo, F., Massi Ferraz, T., Silva, J.R., Souza Ferreira, L., Da S. Bezerra, L.B., De Abreu, D.P., De P. Bernado, W., Cespom, L., Fernandes De Sousa, E., Glenn, D.M., Ramalho, J.C., Campostrini, E. 2016. Whole-canopy gas exchange in Coffea sp. is affected by supra-optimal temperature and light distribution within the canopy: the insights from an improved multi-chamber system. Scientia Horticulturae. 211:194-202.