Mating disruption and reduced-risk methods to control peach pests and brown marmorated stink bug

Final Report for ONE13-190

Project Type: Partnership
Funds awarded in 2013: $14,833.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2013
Region: Northeast
State: New Jersey
Project Leader:
Dean Polk
Rutgers University
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Project Information

Summary:

Dean Polk1 and Anne L. Nielsen2

1Rutgers Fruit R&E Center, Cream Ridge, NJ 08514

2Rutgers Agricultural Research & Extension Center, Bridgeton, NJ 08302

Despite much research on BMSB biology and insecticides, a sustainable management program for tree fruit is still lacking. The effective chemicals are primarily pyrethroids and neonicotinoids. Generic forms of permethrin cost as little as $5-6/Ac and have lead to pyrethroid intensive insecticide programs.The over use of this single chemical class has produced programs which use up to 15 consecutive pyrethroid applications (Polk et al. 2010). Several NJ peach growers have expressed concern over the cost of managing BMSB based on current recommendations – “we are spraying too much”.

To combat this, we evaluated the use of border sprays for BMSB while incorporating key IPM tactics on 3 cooperating grower farms, which was intended to reduce the amount of insecticide applied and associated costs. We named this practice “crop perimeter restructuring” or “CPR”. Therefore, our set of practices is referred to as “IPM-CPR”. The intensive pesticide use brought on by general BMSB management may lead to insecticide resistance, impair water quality, runoff, and pollinator issues. This project allowed us to adopt a border spray practice that reduced intensive insecticide use.

We found no differences in in-season insect counts, or insect damage at harvest. In fact there was a slight numerical difference of cleaner fruit in the CPR treatment. These were positive results in that growers found that they could manage BMSB and other insects while reducing insecticide use. We found that applying insecticide only to the borders of orchards can potentially save growers 25-61% in application costs, which is also a substantial reduction in the amount of insecticides introduced into the farming system. Depending on the size and shape of the planting, a border treatment may represent an average of 20% of the entire block. We found that most differences in insecticide use and costs were due to the growers’ own practices, and not the individual insect pressure. This practice shows promise in enabling true IPM practices in the face of an insect that has up to now, caused an increased use of broad spectrum insecticides.

Introduction:

New Jersey ranks 3rd to 4th in the country for peach production with an average value of $30 million over the last 3 years (USDA/NASS, NJ Ag Statistics 2011). Peaches are susceptible to dozens of insect pests, primarily oriental fruit moth (OFM), plum curculio, various catfacing insects like tarnished plant bug and native stink bugs. Since the advent of IPM, the last 40 years have seen a transition to reduced-risk insecticides with applications based on pest abundance and monitoring that incorporate practices such as cultural and biological controls, computer based phenology models, and mating disruption. Under an IPM program, the key pest complex can be treated with 1 – 2 early post bloom insecticides, a pure turf ground cover in place of weeds and mating disruption. However, since 2009, the invasive brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) has devastated IPM programs and forced growers to return to multiple calendar-based insecticide applications that are neither economically or environmentally sustainable.

            BMSB has over 300 hosts, including many specialty and orchard crops where damage can occur season-long (Leskey 2011) making it a key, if not primary, pest. Unlike native stink bugs, BMSB feeds and reproduces within tree fruit with all life-stages causing damage (Nielsen and Hamilton 2009). Field observations have shown that BMSB constantly disperses between wild hosts to fruit crops causing repeated “waves” of pest pressure and high densities along the crop perimeter.

In 2010 BMSB became a limiting factor in peach production, destroying up to 90% of the peach crop in some New Jersey and other mid-Atlantic farms. The response was a “fast track” effort by USDA and other researchers to identify insecticides that could work against BMSB (Nielsen et al. 2008; Leskey et al. 2012). The efficacious insecticides for BMSB are also effective against OFM. This is a major factor why growers have largely dropped mating disruption programs. However, most compounds have short residual activity against BMSB, necessitating repeated applications. The highly mobile behavior and constant pest pressure has cornered peach growers back to an intensive calendar based spray program.

            Prior to BMSB, peach and nectarine IPM was focused on the management of OFM, catfacing insects, plum curculio, peach tree borers, and occasionally green peach aphid, European red mite, and San Jose scale. Previous reduced risk programs that were developed to manage the peach insect complex relied on early insecticide applications for 1st generation OFM, plum curculio and green peach aphid, OFM mating disruption, and ground cover management for catfacing insects (Agnello 2009, Atanassov et al. 2002, Shearer et al. 1998). These programs were successful in New Jersey and the mid-Atlantic area. Analyses of pesticide use records showed that growers adopting these practices could reduce insecticide use by over 50% compared to calendar-based spray programs (Atanassov et al 2001). However, these programs were developed prior to BMSB and recommendations for native stink bugs were ineffective. Since then peach growers have returned to a heavy insecticide schedule, often using 2-4x as many applications as were previously needed (Leskey et al., 2012).

            BMSB populations and damage are higher on orchard perimeters or rows that border woods and other alternate hosts (Leskey et al. 2012, D. Polk unpublished). Since BMSB tend to feed on orchard edges before dispersing into the interior this may be able to be used in an IPM program. In 2013 we compared whole farm insecticide applications on a 10-14 day interval to a border spray block (7day interval) under mating disruption. The results showed equal or less catfacing injury at harvest and no OFM injury in either treatment. There was no significant difference in BMSB injury between the perimeter and interior samples in either block suggesting that the border sprays effectively reduced the immigrating population. The tighter spray interval employed by the border spray/IPM program exposes immigrating BMSB to fresh insecticides, thereby increasing mortality.

Despite much research on BMSB biology and insecticides, a sustainable management program for tree fruit is still lacking. The effective chemicals are primarily pyrethroids and neonicotinoids. Generic forms of permethrin cost as little as $5-6/Ac and have lead to pyrethroid intensive insecticide programs.The over use of this single chemical class has produced programs which use up to 15 consecutive pyrethroid applications (Polk et al. 2010). Several NJ peach growers have expressed concern over the cost of managing BMSB based on current recommendations – “we are spraying too much”.

Project Objectives:

To combat this, we evaluated the use of border sprays for BMSB while incorporating key IPM tactics on 3 cooperating grower farms, which was intended to reduce the amount of insecticide applied and associated costs. We named this practice “crop perimeter restructuring” or “CPR”. Therefore, our set of practices is referred to as “IPM-CPR”. The intensive pesticide use brought on by general BMSB management may lead to insecticide resistance, impair water quality, runoff, and pollinator issues. This project allowed us to adopt a border spray practice that reduced intensive insecticide use.

            In 2013 we further evaluated preliminary on-farm research conducted in 2012 that utilized border sprays for BMSB while reintroducing key IPM principles. Dr. Brett Blaauw started work in the Nielsen Lab and helped coordinate the project in 2013. The work was conducted in collaboration with major peach growers, demonstrating the likelihood of adoption.

            Our IPM-CPR program reintroduces OFM mating disruption, turf type ground cover management, combined with BMSB management with border sprays. It was supported by intense pest monitoring of all orchard pests to properly time applications and insure that no pests became a damaging issue. We:

1)    Investigated and demonstrated border/perimeter sprays for BMSB in peach orchards under OFM mating disruption and ground cover management compared to whole block broadcast treatments to reduce total insecticide use.

2)    Calculated the cost of a “restructured” IPM program and obtained grower feedback.

3)    Established these practices in extension recommendations, recorded pesticide use and documented the changes in the participating grower practices.

Cooperators

Click linked name(s) to expand
  • Dr. Lewis DeEugenio
  • Carl Heilig
  • Santo John Maccherone

Research

Materials and methods:

The project was incorporated into the existing Rutgers Cooperative Extension Fruit IPM Program, and was a team effort between this program and the research/extension efforts from Dr. Anne Nielsen’s peach IPM research/extension program. Three farms each with two peach blocks of the same variety participated in the study. To achieve maximum BMSB pressure, late variety peaches were be used – cv. Jerseyqueen and Harcrest in 2012, and Jerseyqueen only in 2013. One block per farm was maintained as the grower standard (GS), and had a monitoring program, but used a standard insecticide program of full cover insecticides for BMSB and other insect and disease control, usually every 10-14 days. The other block was the reduced input/border spray mating disruption plot (termed – CPR). Each test block was characterized by the following practices:

  • Deployed mating disruption for OFM.
  • Utilized border sprays for BMSB on a weekly interval when pressure warranted. Border sprays include the perimeter of the orchard as well as the first full row.
  • Initiated orchard floor management to control broad-leafed weeds that harbor native catfacing insects, and thrips.

            OFM mating disruption lures were obtained from CBC America (Biocontrol Isomate TT), and hand applied at the rate of 70 dispensers per acre at the end of the first OFM flight period. Early season pest management for 1st generation OFM, plum curculio and other pests such as green peach aphid were applied as needed according to the 2012 and 2013 Rutgers Tree Fruit Production Guide. Participating growers supplied the required hand labor needed for dispenser placement. Turf ground cover required the elimination of clover and other broadleaf weeds. A single application of clopyralid (Stinger®) was made when needed in the BSMD block.

            Within each block, catfacing insects, BMSB and OFM populations and damage were monitored weekly in transects. Each transect sample included perimeter samples, interior samples (6 rows in) and a center sample (Figure 1). Each sample also included 2 three minute timed counts for BMSB adults, nymphs and eggs, ground cover sweep sampling, whole tree counts for OFM flagging, and direct fruit counts for pest damage. OFM sex pheromone traps were deployed in the center of each block to measure OFM population density.

The influence of spray regimes on natural enemies was monitored with sentinel egg masses. At harvest, 900 fruit/block and 1800 per farm) were assessed for all insect damage, including BMSB injury. All fruit were peeled to assess the number of BMSB feeding sites per fruit. Data was analyzed with ANOVA. Full comparisons with respect to insect population densities, trap counts, percent fruit damage and types of damage were evaluated. Pesticide records were obtained from the growers, and analyzed with t-tests for the number of applications, amount of active ingredient use, and costs based on a standard suggested retail price list.

Research results and discussion:

We found no differences in in-season insect counts (Figure 2), or insect damage at harvest (Figure3). In fact there was a slight numerical difference of cleaner fruit in the CPR treatment. These were positive results in that growers found that they could manage BMSB and other insects while reducing insecticide use. We found that applying insecticide only to the borders of orchards can potentially save growers 25-61% in application costs, which is also a substantial reduction in the amount of insecticides introduced into the farming system (Tables 2 and 3 for years 2012 and 2013). Depending on the size and shape of the planting, a border treatment may represent 21 to 30% of the entire block. We found that most differences in insecticide use and costs were due to the growers’ own practices, and not the individual insect pressure. This practice shows promise in enabling true IPM practices in the face of an insect that has up to now, caused an increased use of broad spectrum insecticides.

Participation Summary

Education & Outreach Activities and Participation Summary

Participation Summary:

Education/outreach description:

Information gathered in this project was disseminated through extension meetings and state recommendations. A research paper is in preparation. The primary target audience is the commercial peach growing industry in NJ, and secondarily the peach growers in other mid-Atlantic and eastern states where BMSB is problematic. Extension information gathered from the project was incorporated into the delivery mechanism used in the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Fruit IPM Program. Recommendations resulting from this project were made through 1) the Plant and Pest Advisory Newsletter, faxed or emailed and available on the web, 2) through other broadcast email messages directly to growers, 3) one-on-one consultations and farm visits, 4) at winter meetings (Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Conference, Hershey, PA, South and North Jersey Fruit Meetings), 5) 2 twilight update meetings in Gloucester County and 1 meeting in Hunterdon County during the spring of 2014, and 6) an added section on BMSB management in the annual NJ Tree Fruit Production Guide. Research findings were presented at the Cumberland Shenandoah Fruit Workers Conference in Winchester, VA (late November) and at the Eastern Branch, Entomological Society of America (March, 2014).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Project Outreach

 

Anne L. Nielsen. 2014. Effective IPM Programs for BMSB in Peach: Better and Less Spraying. Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention. Hershey, PA.January 29, 2014.

About 2,200 fruit and vegetable growers and other industry persons from throughout the mid-Atlantic region and beyond gathered at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania, for the Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention in late January of 2014. Attendees to Dr. Nielsen’s talk learned about our SARE funded research to assess the use of mating disruption and reduced risk methods to control peach pests and brown marmorated stink bug and how spraying only the border of a peach orchards can reduce the insecticide input for growers and may limit crop damage as much as the standard practice.

 

Anne L. Nielsen, Brett R. Blaauw, and Dean Polk. 2014. IPM CPR: The application of behaviorally-based strategies for successful management of BMSB in peach. Orchard Pest and Disease Management Conference. Portland, OR. January 8, 2014.

The Orchard Pest and Disease Management Conference is held each January in Portland, Oregon. The meeting is devoted to the arthropod and disease pests of orchard crops with a national and international scope. Meeting attendees are generally from the western states, but include national researchers, extension personnel, and ag chemical industry personnel and consultants. This meeting was an opportunity to present and discuss our SARE funded research with other researchers and extension personnel who are also working with BMSB.

 

Brett R. Blaauw, Dean Polk, and Anne L. Nielsen. 2014. Exploiting dispersal behavior: A more sustainable approach for managing brown marmorated stink bug. Entomological Society of America – Eastern Branch Annual Meeting, Williamsburg, VA.

At the Entomological Society of America’s Annual Branch Meeting hundreds of entomologists and professionals from related disciplines gather to exchange scientific information and the latest research. This meeting was an opportunity to present and discuss our SARE funded research at a regional scale with other researchers who are also working with BMSB.

 

Brett R. Blaauw, Dean Polk, and Anne L. Nielsen. 2014. Exploiting BMSB behavior as a management tactic in peaches. Specialty Crop Research Initiative BMSB Planning Meeting. February 11, 2014.

The SCRI BMSB planning meeting was composed of a group of researchers who are currently working on a large multi-state grant (funded by the NIFA-SCRI) to investigate integrated methods for managing stink bugs. Presenting at this meeting allowed us to discuss our current results and to get feedback from other researchers on how to proceed with future research on the behaviorally-based reduced input management for BMSB.

 

Brett R. Blaauw, Dean Polk, and Anne L. Nielsen. November 2013. Behaviorally-based reduced input management for brown marmorated stink bug in peach. Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting, Austin, TX.

At the Entomological Society of America’s Annual Meeting thousands of entomologists and professionals from related disciplines gather to exchange scientific information and the latest research. This meeting was an opportunity to present and discuss our SARE funded research at a national scale with other researchers who are also working with BMSB.

 

Brett R. Blaauw, Anne L. Nielsen, and John Pote. 2013. Natural Enemies, Row Cover, and Trap Crops for Stink Bug Management. Penn State Extension: Organic Vegetable Intensive-Insects and Winter Greens. Easton, PA. Dec. 5, 2013.

Attendees received a handout with information on the biology and how to identity BMSB. This handout also included information from the SARE funded project, which included that by exploiting stink bug behavior and spraying only the border of a crop field, growers can reduce the insecticide input and may limit crop damage as much as the standard practice. Roughly 50 organic growers were in attendance.

 

Polk, D.F. 04/09/13. North Jersey Twilight Fruit Growers Meeting. Early season fruit IPM update.  41 growers.

Polk, D.F. 04/23/13. South Jersey Twilight Fruit Growers Meeting. Early season fruit IPM update.  23 growers.

Polk, D.F. 05/23/13. North Jersey Twilight Fruit Growers Meeting. IPM insect pest management in tree fruit. 43 growers.

Nielsen, A.L. 04/02/14. South Jersey Twilight Fruit Growers Meeting. Insect management update. 26 growers.

Polk, D.F. 05/06/13. North Jersey Twilight Fruit Growers Meeting. IPM insect pest management in tree fruit. 39 growers.

Nielsen, A.L. 05/08/14. South Jersey Twilight Fruit Growers Meeting. Insect management update. 28 growers.

Project Outputs

Brett R. Blaauw, Dean Polk, and Anne L. Nielsen. 2014. IPM-CPR for peaches: utilizing behaviorally-based methods to manage key peach pests; brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys) and Oriental fruit moth (Grapholita molesta). Pest Management Science. (In Prep)

 

Polk, D.F. 2013, 2014. Plant and Pest Advisory, Fruit Edition. Various weekly articles. http://plant-pest-advisory.rutgers.edu/category/fruit/tree-fruit/

References Cited

 

Agnello, A.M., Atanassov, A., Bergh, J.C., Biddinger, L.J., Gut, L.J., Haas, M.J., Harper, J.K., Hogmire, H.W., Hull, L.A., Kime, L.F., Krawczyk, G., McGhee, P.S., Nyrop, J.P., Reissig, W.H., Shearer, P.W., Straub, R.W., Villanueva, R.T., and Walgenbach, J.F. 2009. Reduced-risk pest management programs for eastern U.S. apple and peach orchards: A 4-year regional project. American Entomologist, 55(3):184-197.

 

Atanassov, A., Shearer, P.W., Hamilton, G., Polk, D. and DeLame, F. 2001. Reduced Risk Peach Arthropod Management Program. Horticultural News, NJ State Hort. Soc. 81(2):7-10, 19-21.

 

Atanassov, A., Shearer, P.W., Hamilton, G. and Polk, D. 2002. Development and implementation of a reduced risk peach arthropod management program in New Jersey. Journal of Economic Entomology, 95(4):803-812.

 

Leskey, T.C., Short, B.D., Butler, B.R. and Wright. S.E. 2012. Impact of the invasive brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys (Stål), in mid-Atlantic tree fruit orchards in the United States: case studies of commercial management. Psyche: 535062. www.hindawi.com/journals/psyche/2012/535062/

 

Nielsen AL, Shearer PW, and Hamilton GC. 2008. Toxicity of insecticides to Halyomorpha halys. Journal of Economic Entomology 101(4):1439–1442.

 

Nielsen, A. L. and Hamilton, G.C. 2009. Seasonal occurrence and impact of Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) in tree fruit.  Journal of Economic Entomology, vol. 102(3):1133–1140.

 

Polk, D.F., Schmitt, D., and Atanassov, A. 2010. Fruit quality and spray programs in NJ orchards. Proceedings, 85th Annual Cumberland-Shenandoah Fruit Workers Conference. Winchester, VA.

 

Shearer, P.W., Majek, B., Polk, D., Belding, B., and Lalancette, N. 1998. Orchard Ground Cover Management Affects Peach Insect Damage. Proceedings 74th Cumberland-Shenandoah Fruit Workers Conference. Winchester, VA.

 

USDA/NASS NJ Field Office (NJFO). 2011. Fruit and vegetable crops statistics and national rankings. http://nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/New_Jersey/Current_Releases/2010%20NJ%20Fruit&Veg%20Rankings%20book.pdf

Project Outcomes

Assessment of Project Approach and Areas of Further Study:

Areas needing additional study

Most peach growers also produce apples, and over a larger acreage than worked with in this study. It will be important to investigate how this system works with multiple fruit crops on the same farm in neighboring blocks, and in larger acreage. Mating disruption for codling moth should be combined with mating disruption for oriental fruit moth and other apple pest management practices. Apples are in general a later crop than peaches, have more arthropod pests, and may be more susceptible to different injury under this system. Therefore it will be important to demonstrate the success of this practice as a whole farm system and in different states.

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.