Project Number: 8080-21000-024-62-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Oct 1, 2016
End Date: Aug 31, 2021
The objectives of this project are to: 1) predict risk from BMSB damage, 2) implement widespread biological control of BMSB, 3) develop management strategies that are compatible with biological control and risk factors, 4) determine economic consequences of BMSB damage and management strategies, and 5) deliver information obtained to stakeholders.
Objective 1, we will assess suitability of landscapes for BMSB based on the distribution of specialty crop and non-crop hosts across regions, document weather patterns and other triggers of BMSB dispersal, and integrate landscape-level habitat maps and data on abiotic factors to predict BMSB distribution and crop damage risk across regions. Objective 2, field surveys will be conducted to determine the value of native natural enemies, the establishment of introduced parasitoids, and their importance of both groups in suppressing BMSB populations and reducing grower costs. Bioassays will identify behavioral and ecological factors that influence success and impact of natural enemies. Objective 3, crop-specific management programs, including sampling programs, thresholds and risk-assessment models, and management tactics based on semiochemicals, habitat manipulation and targeted pesticides, will be developed using results of past research as well as our proposed studies, and evaluated using experimental designs to determine efficacy and allow economic analyses. Economic evaluations of specific management techniques, including decision support tools and sustainable management strategies, will be conducted in objective 4. These evaluations will employ a combination of enterprise and partial budgeting techniques, cost-benefit analysis, present value analysis, and survey methods. An economist from Pennsylvania State University is a co-Project Investigator on this project and will handle much of this work. In the final objective, participants will teach target audiences with response data gathered through questionnaires for specific groups, including growers, researchers, and the general public; an established website (StopBMSB.org), listserv, and a variety of online surveys and assessment tools will be used; in-depth grower pre- and post-interviews will be used for detailed evaluation of the effectiveness of how information was delivered, if it was retained, and what changes in management resulted.