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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Kearneysville, West Virginia » Appalachian Fruit Research Laboratory » Innovative Fruit Production, Improvement, and Protection » Research » Research Project #431543

Research Project: Integrated Orchard Management and Automation for Deciduous Tree Fruit Crops (BRIDGE PROJECT)

Location: Innovative Fruit Production, Improvement, and Protection

2020 Annual Report

ORIGINAL OBJECTIVES: 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 detection 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. ADDITIONAL OBJECTIVES PER PDRAM32: Objective 1. Analyze rapid apple decline disease etiology and develop small scale or scale neutral technologies for managing tree fruit diseases to enhance the economic and ecological sustainability of small farm orchard production. [NP305, Component 1, Problem Statement 1B] Objective 2. Generate new knowledge of soil-plant interactions on small farm orchards in new production areas and develop new tools and technologies for enhancing marginal soils with sustainable inputs. [NP305, Component 1, Problem Statement 1B]

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
This is a bridge project for 8080-21000-024-00D, "Integrated Orchard Management and Automation for Deciduous Tree Fruit Crops". Please see the complete annual report under 8080-21000-024-00D.


Review Publications
Leskey, T.C., Short, B.D., Ludwick, D.C. 2020. Comparison and refinement of integrated pest management tactics for Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) management in apple orchards. Journal of Economic Entomology. 113(4):1725-1734.
Chambers, B.D., Leskey, T.C., Cullum, J.P., Pearce, A.R., Kuhar, T. 2020. Cavity tightness preferences of overwintering Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae). Journal of Economic Entomology. 113(3):1572-1575.
Stockton, D.G., Hesler, S.P., Wallingford, A.K., Leskey, T.C., Mcdermott, L., Elson, J.E., Riggs, D.M., Pritts, M., Loeb, G.M. 2020. Factors affecting the implementation of exclusion netting to control Drosophila suzukii on primocane raspberry. Crop Protection.
Kirkpatrick, D.M., Rice, K.B., Ibrahim, A., Morrison III, W.R., Leskey, T.C. 2019. Influence of harmonic radar tag attachment on nymphal Halyomorpha halys mobility, survivorship and detectability. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata. 167:1020-1029.
Ibrahim, A., Kirkpatrick, D.M., Nixon, L., Ludwick, D.C., Anfora, G., Leskey, T.C. 2020. Effect of deltamethrin-incorporated nets on mobility and survivorship of Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) adults and nymphs in the laboratory. Journal of Applied Entomology.
Ludwick, D.C., Morrison III, W.R., Acebes-Doria, A.L., Agnello, A.M., Bergh, J., Buffington, M.L., Hamilton, G.C., Harper, J.K., Hoelmer, K.A., Krawczyk, G., Kuhar, T.P., Pfeiffer, D.G., Nielsen, A.L., Rice, K.B., Rodriguez-Saona, C., Shearer, P.W., Shrewsbury, P.M., Talamas, E.J., Walgenbach, J.F., Wiman, N.G., Leskey, T.C. 2020. Invasion of the brown marmorated stink bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) into the USA: developing a national response to an invasive species crisis through collaborative research and outreach efforts. Journal of Integrated Pest Management. 11(1):1-16.
Kapantaidaki, D.E., Evangelou, V.I., Morrison III, W.R., Leskey, T.C., Brodeur, J., Milonas, P. 2019. Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) genetic diversity in North America and Europe. Insects. 10(6):174.
Rodriguez-Saona, C., Nielsen, A., Shapiro Ilan, D.I., Tewari, S., Kyryczenko-Roth, V., Firbas, N., Leskey, T.C. 2019. Exploring an odor-baited “trap bush” approach to aggregate Plum curculio (Coleoptera: curculionidae) injury in blueberries. Insects. 10(4):113.
Kirkpatrick, D.M., Acebes-Doria, A.L., Rice, K.B., Short, B.D., Adams, C.G., Gut, L.J., Leskey, T.C. 2019. Estimating monitoring trap plume reach and trapping area for nymphal and adult Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) in crop and non-crop habitats. Environmental Entomology.
Acebes-Doria, A.L., Agnello, A.M., Alston, D.G., Andrews, H., Beers, E.H., Bergh, J., Bessin, R., Blaauw, B.R., Buntin, G., Burkness, E.C., Chen, S., Cottrell, T.E., Daane, K.M., Fann, L.E., Fleischer, S.J., Guedot, C., Gut, L.J., Hamilton, G.C., Hilton, R., Hoelmer, K.A., Hutchison, W.D., Jentsch, P., Krawczyk, G., Kuhar, T.P., Lee, J.C., Milnes, J.M., Nielsen, A.L., Patel, D.K., Short, B.D., Sial, A.A., Spears, L.R., Tatman, K.M., Toews, M.D., Walgenbach, J.D., Welty, C., Wiman, N.G., Van Zoeren, J., Leskey, T.C. 2019. Season-long monitoring of the brown marmorated stink bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) throughout the United States using commercially available traps and lures. Journal of Economic Entomology. 113(1):159-171.
Cullum, J.P., Nixon, L.J., Morrison III, W.R., Raupp, M.J., Shrewsbury, P.M., Venogal, P., Martinson, H., Bergh, J., Leskey, T.C. 2020. Influence of landscape factors and abiotic conditions on dispersal behavior and overwintering site selection by Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae). Journal of Economic Entomology.
Pinero, J.C., Shapiro Ilan, D.I., Cooley, D.R., Tuttle, A., Eaton, A., Drohan, P., Leahy, K., Zhang, A., Hancock, T., Wallingford, A.K., Leskey, T.C. 2020. Toward the integration of an attract-and-kill approach with entomopathogenic nematodes to control multiple life stages of plum curculio (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Insects.
Akotsen-Mensah, C., Blaauw, B., Short, B.D., Leskey, T.C., Bergh, J., Polk, D., Nielsen, A. 2020. Using IPM-CPR as a management program for apple orchards. Journal of Economic Entomology.
Zhang, Q., Karkee, M., Tabb, A. 2019. The use of agricultural robots in orchard management. In: Billingsley, J., editor. Robotics and Automation for Improving Agriculture. Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing, Cambridge, UK.