Submitted to: Good Fruit Grower
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/10/2006
Publication Date: 12/1/2006
Citation: Jones, V.P., Unruh, T.R., Horton, D.R., Brunner, J.F. 2006. Improving Apple IPM by maximizing opportunities for biological control. Good Fruit Grower. Dec. 2006, p. 1-8.
Technical Abstract: The role of biological control in controlling arthropod pests in commercial apple production is for the most part not well understood. We make the case that conditions at this time are especially good for making a concerted effort to integrate biological control into IPM systems. Pest control programs are in transition from systems dominated by the use of broad-spectrum insecticides to programs based upon behavioral control (i.e., mating disruption) of pests combined with more highly selective chemical insecticides and biopesticides. Mating disruption is now used in about 75% of Washington apple acreage, resulting in a drop in use of insecticides that are most toxic to natural enemies. We discuss what we see as the key factors to address that will allow us to more proactively integrate biological control into apple orchards: (1) identification of key natural enemies and estimates of their impact on pests; (2) phenology of key natural enemies; (3) effects of newer selective insecticides on natural enemy biology; (4) development of recommendations that optimally integrate behavioral, chemical, and biological controls.