Growing Cranberry Specific Parasitoids for Application on Organic Cranberry Bogs

Final Report for FNE99-256

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 1999: $2,675.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2000
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $2,900.00
Region: Northeast
State: Massachusetts
Project Leader:
Kristine Keese
Cranberry Hill Farm
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Project Information

Summary:

Note to readers, attached is the complete final report for FNE99-256.

Given our experience in attempting to understand the rearing of T. wasp we can now state the following:
-There are indigenous T. wasps on cranberry bogs of a specific species which, exert some measure of control over the fruitworm pest
-The difficulty of identifying and rearing these wasps has been found to require such specific knowledge and facilities that it has taken years of research for the best trained and equipped scientists
-We recommend that growers learn more about these natural predators that live in their bogs and encourage and support their natural increase in the following ways:
a) adult T. wasps feed on nectar, the bog should be provided with some areas of nectar bearing plants so as to provide an environment where the wasps can feed and live. If bog covers large acreage, some small areas of flowering plants can be interspersed throughout, either on the dikes or along the ditches.
b) these wasps are very delicate, we recommend providing shade areas, avoiding sprays whether chemical or not, during the short time when these predators are available.

In spite of the material we are including here on how to rear these insects ourselves, after observing such installations in professional labs, we do not believe that it is possible for a farmer to be successful at this endeavor. Visiting the BioTop lab, I realized that just keeping the tiny wasps confined was an almost impossible task. We will however concentrate on developing a habitat for this predator . We have placed small beds of lavender, fennel and oregano around the bogs for maximum nectar production. These plants are easy to cultivate and useful for our kitchen use. We have also planted small beds with late flowering plants as to keep the T. wasps in the bog area and hopefully encourage them to overwinter there.

Cooperators

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  • Dr. Anne Averill

Research

Participation Summary
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.