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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Parlier, California » San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center » Commodity Protection and Quality Research » Research » Research Project #432039

Research Project: Breaking Insect-related Trade Barriers for the Eastern USA Blueberry Industry

Location: Commodity Protection and Quality Research

Project Number: 2034-43000-040-40-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2016
End Date: Dec 31, 2018

The goal of this project is to retain and expand blueberry markets for all growing regions of the U.S. by conducting postharvest research that proves key insects can be removed from trade channels. Blueberry maggot (BBM), Rhagoletis mendax, is of economic concern to eastern U.S. blueberry producers and shippers, while spotted wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii, is of economic concern to all U.S. blueberry producers and shippers.

This project is planned in phases. Phase 1 involves establishing a colony of BBM at the Contained Research Facility at University of California at Davis with the throughput necessary to routinely conduct fumigation studies at all times other than late summer. This work will be coupled to late summer seasonal work in Michigan with naturally BBM-infested blueberries. Phase 2 involves fumigation testing, at both locations, to determine the most Methyl Bromide (MB)-tolerant age of the blueberry maggot. Phase 3 will compare the results of Phase 2 with the MB-tolerance of SWD to determine if any further fumigations are necessary. Phase 4 will identify any potential phytotoxicity to blueberries that occurs from exposure to fumigants at dosages that are efficacious for killing the most MB-tolerant life stage of either BBM or SWD.