Submitted to: Mountaineer Grower
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/10/2009
Publication Date: 9/28/2009
Citation: Hogmire, H.W., Biggs, A.R., Chandran, R.S., Miller, S.S. 2009. NRCS-EQIP Tree Fruit IPM Program . Mountaineer Grower. Interpretive Summary: Apple and peach growers need to use a number of pesticides to produce high quality defect free fruits. Using integrated pest management (IPM) techniques growers can monitor pest presence, and target their most vulnerable stages. IPM also uses mating disruption which can reduce significantly the use of pesticides. Grants provided through the Natural Resources Conservation Service from the Environmental Quality Incentive Program were used in West Virginia to assist growers in establishing IPM practices in parts of their apple and peach orchards. The three-year program will be monitored by the West Virginia University extension fruit specialists to evaluate the outcome of the program and its effect on pest levels and pesticide use in West Virginia orchards.
Technical Abstract: In 2008, the WVU Extension Service partnered with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to develop and implement a cost-share IPM program for the commercial tree fruit growers in West Virginia. Fifty percent of implementation costs were paid by NRCS through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Participation required that growers enroll a minimum of three acres of bearing apple or peach trees for three years. In addition, all growers were required to complete a list of core practices for IPM enrolled acreage at one of three levels. Nine growers enrolled a total of 1,317 acres in the IPM program in 2008, consisting of 981 acres of apples and 336 acres of peaches. Out of a total of 54 apple blocks enrolled in the IPM program, 44 were under pheromone mating disruption for codling moth and oriental fruit moth. Of the 24 peach blocks enrolled, 21 were treated with pheromone mating disruption for oriental fruit moth, lesser peachtree borer, and peachtree borer. The most commonly used reduced-risk insecticides on apple, based on total number of applications by all growers, were Altacor, Assail, and Intrepid. On peach, Delegate and Provado (Prey) had the most applications. The most commonly used reduced-risk fungicide on apple was Flint and on peaches was Pristine. On apple, the average total quantity of pesticides used per acre was 25 percent less in 2008 vs. 2007. This included reductions in fungicides/antibiotic and insecticides/acaricides of five and 57 percent, respectively. The average program costs in 2008 vs. 2007 were 11 percent higher for fungicides/antibiotic, two percent lower for insecticides/acaricides, 63 percent higher for insect management when pheromone mating disruption was included, and 38 percent higher for total pest management. A total of 79 soil samples and 81 leaf samples were collected by growers for analysis. Sixty-two percent of the soil samples fell within the ideal pH range. For leaf samples in apple 14 percent were rated low or deficient. Boron was found to be low in 39 percent of the leaf samples collected. In peach about 45 percent of the leaf samples indicated excessive levels of N.