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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Hilo, Hawaii » Daniel K. Inouye U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center » Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research » Research » Research Project #431272

Research Project: Areawide IPM of Coffee Berry Borer in Puerto Rico (Mayaguez)

Location: Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research

Project Number: 2040-22430-027-24-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2016
End Date: Aug 31, 2021

The principle objective of this project is to integrate pest management methods to reduce the damage of the coffee berry borer (CBB) on Puerto Rican coffee farms. The specific goals are: 1) Reduce pest populations through good sanitation and harvesting methods; 2) Develop efficient use of Beauvaria and other biological control agents; 3) Develop an integrated GIS database that relates incidence of CBB and biocontrol organisms to environmental variables; 4) Determine levels of damage by CBB to coffee yield and quality; 5) Optimize cultural methods to reduce pest incidence and facilitate IPM (Integrated Pest Management); and 6) Develop outreach activities directed to coffee farmers, extension specialists, and the community.

The coffee berry borer (CBB) was first reported in Puerto Rico in 2007 and Hawaii in 2010. CBB spends the majority of its life cycle inside the coffee berries where it is highly protected from control measures. An areawide integrated pest management (IPM) approach will be used to control CBB and prevent its spread to non-infested areas. Scientists will expand and coordinate areawide data collection and technology transfer in Puerto Rico, and exchange research, technology, and decision support tools with scientists in Hawaii. A geographic information system (GIS) database relating pest dynamics, the environment, coffee phenology, and biocontrol organisms will be included in predictive models to implement control measures at a regional scale. Model plots combining three management strategies (sanitation, trapping, Beauvaria bassiana) will be established to demonstrate control methods to coffee growers. Other potential biological control agents (entomopathic nematodes and native Beauvaria strains) will be studied for effectiveness against CBB. Coffee quality will be assessed from different regions and with varying levels of CBB infestation. Outreach activities will target education of growers, extension agents and the public about CBB and control strategies in Spanish and English.