- Fruits: apples, peaches, general tree fruits
- Education and Training: extension, on-farm/ranch research
- Pest Management: chemical control, integrated pest management, weather monitoring
- Sustainable Communities: local and regional food systems
Assessing Reduced-Risk Insecticides and Refining Distribution and Phenology Models to Improve Management of Oriental Fruit Moth (OFM) in Apples and PeachesWith the help of 8 growers, we will: (1) use on-farm trials to evaluate reduced-risk insecticides for management of Oriental Fruit Moth (OFM) and other key pests in peach and apple orchards; and (2) use pest and weather monitoring to evaluate/improve models of the distribution and phenology of OFM for its more efficient management. We will communicate these results (along with concurrent non-SARE research findings) to grower audiences to aid >50 growers to: (1) choose among reduced-risk insecticides and other tactics for improved pest management and reduced negative impacts; and (2) increase use of monitoring and phenology models for pest management decisions. This work is necessary because increased losses to OFM threaten the viability of apple and peach production, creating an urgent need for improved and sustainable management strategies. Maintaining the viability of apple and peach production on diversified small farms allows them to contribute to rural and urban economies and quality of life by providing jobs, healthful local produce, and direct contact between producers and consumers at on-farm and farmers markets. Insecticide evaluations will use reduced-risk and standard treatments and untreated checks, with evaluations of pest and beneficial insect densities and fruit damage. Pheromone traps, temperature sensors, and degree-day calculators will be used to assess OFM distribution and phenology and determine the accuracy of existing models. Information will be delivered directly to growers via off-season extension programs, summer field days, newsletters, and research reports. Surveys of grower knowledge, attitudes, and practices will be conducted before and after the project (field research and dissemination of information) is completed.
Project objectives from proposal:
Immediate and short-term:
Immediately, university personnel and 8 peach and apple growers will:
• use on-farm, large-plot trials to assess the effectiveness of reduced-risk insecticides for management of OFM and other key pests in peach and apple orchards.
• use available monitoring methods to improve models of the distribution and phenology of OFM in peach and apple orchards to allow more efficient management.
Aided by university personnel, >50 peach and apple growers will:
• choose insecticides and other management practices that reduce environmental and human health risks while reducing losses to key pests and improving profitability.
• develop greater confidence in and reliance on pheromone traps and phenology models for pest management decisions, reducing unnecessary insecticide applications.
Long-term: Specialty crop growers will use and share pest monitoring and modeling techniques to improve pest management and reduce reliance on excessive insecticide applications.