Project Number: 2040-22430-027-26-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Sep 1, 2016
End Date: Aug 31, 2021
The principal objective of this project is to find ways to reduce the damage of the coffee berry borer (CBB or broca) on Puerto Rican coffee farms. The specific goals are: 1) Reduce pest populations through good sanitation and harvesting methods; 2) Develop efficient use of Beauveria and other biological control agents; 3) Conduct basic biological studies of the pest and natural enemies under local conditions; 4) Optimize cultural methods to reduce pest incidence and facilitate IPM (Integrated Pest Management); and 5) Communicate good pest management strategies and awareness through outreach.
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. Native strains of B. bassiana with high virulence to CBB will be evaluated for efficacy and persistence in the field. CBB reproduction and damage will be compared for coffee grown under sun and shade conditions. Outreach activities will target education of growers, extension agents and the public about CBB and control strategies in Spanish and English.