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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Corvallis, Oregon » Horticultural Crops Disease and Pest Management Research Unit » Research » Research Project #444959

Research Project: Improving IPM Programs for Blueberries and Raspberries in the PNW

Location: Horticultural Crops Disease and Pest Management Research Unit

Project Number: 2072-22000-044-036-G
Project Type: Grant

Start Date: May 1, 2023
End Date: Oct 31, 2024

1. Develop integrated pest management (IPM) decision-making guidelines for spotted wing drosophila (SWD) and secondary pests in blueberries and raspberries. 2. Evaluate IPM program efficacy and economics in commercial blueberry and raspberry fields. 3. Conduct experiments testing specific IPM materials and techniques, ad hoc. 4. Establish Extension resources to broadcast scouting data and project results in real-time.

Objective 1: PI will assemble a technical working group with key industry decision-makers (growers and crop advisors) to help generate practical guidelines for the two treatment programs: “IPM” and “Standard”. Standard treatment programs will follow grower and conventional recommendations made by the crop advisor. The IPM treatment guidelines will use pest thresholds to determine when sprays occur. Thresholds will be based on WSU Extension Scouting and thresholds guides. Objective 2: Six to eight fields, 2-acre minimum, will be scouted for both blueberry and raspberry in Washington (12-16 total), half of each crop will be IPM and half standard. We will synchronize methods with a group conducting a similar project in Oregon to ensure this effort serves both states. Sampling will occur once per week at each site for approximately 20 weeks, starting prior to bloom through harvest. Sampling locations within fields will be stratified to include interior and field edges. Pests and beneficial insects will be sampled using various methods: beat sheets, leaf inspections, and lure baited SWD traps. SWD larvae within fruit will be sampled twice during harvest for each field, via fruit salt bath technique. Insect scouting data for each site will be graphed every week and provided to cooperating growers via email, alongside recommendations for that site. At the end of the season, program outcomes will be compared among sites and treatments. Pest and beneficial insect densities and vectored disease presence will be compared statistically for weekly and seasonal treatment averages. Objective 3: Selective products or IPM techniques will be tested throughout the year, ad hoc, based on gained knowledge from the field, further literature reviews, and discussions with stakeholders. These may be conducted in the field or in lab bioassays, as appropriate. Objective 4: To ensure stakeholders gain the full benefits of this project, we will create blueberry and raspberry scouting and management webpages within the WSU Extension website. We will post weekly scouting data and IPM guidelines. Scouting data will be summarized as averages among treatment to maintain anonymity of participating growers. We will organize at least one field day during or following each season to discuss outcomes, gain new perspectives from the industry, demonstrate scouting techniques, and provide other educational information (pesticide credits will be offered). Similar information will be delivered at other industry and Extension events.