Bringing IPM and Natural Enemies Back to the Orchard Post-BMSB
The research team at Rutgers sought to demonstrate a pest management program for brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), fruit moths and catfacing insects in peaches and apples. Research was conducted in collaboration with four commercial New Jersey fruit farmers. Prior to this project, most fruit growers in the mid-Atlantic region had abandoned IPM programs due to the need for intensive, season-long insecticide management to control BMSB. Thus, this project is the first to successfully demonstrate IPM tactics for BMSB in fruit crops with a significant reduction in insecticide inputs. IPM tactics for moth pests and endemic catfacing insects were also brought back. Our approach, termed IPM-CPR (crop perimeter restructuring), combines a degree-day (DD) model for BMSB to initiate treatments, border insecticide treatments for BMSB, mating disruption for oriental fruit moth (OFM) and/or codling moth (CM) and groundcover management for catfacing insects. Grower participants were involved throughout the study by selecting treatment sites, discussions on insecticide selection and insect pressure and through management of the orchards, including application of treatments.
On-farm trials were conducted at four commercial farms in southern New Jersey to compare IPM-CPR management for key insect pests including BMSB against grower standard management. At each site, the grower’s standard plot was managed based on IPM program recommendations and insecticide applications were applied as either alternate row middle (ARM) or whole block sprays on a 7-14d interval or as needed based on monitoring traps. The treatment plot incorporated border sprays, mating disruption and groundcover management. This was done for three paired plots, each being a minimum of 5 acres, in both peach and apple across four farms.
All plots were monitored weekly for tarnished plant bug (TPB), OFM and/or CM, and BMSB at 16 two-tree sites within the orchard. OFM and CM were monitored through sex pheromone traps and signs of infested fruit. TPB and native stink bug species were monitored with a 20 sweep net sample. BMSB was monitored through aggregation pheromone traps at the perimeter and through visual assessment of monitoring trees. At harvest 50 fruit/2-tree sample were assessed for insect injury and catfacing injury for a total of 800 fruit per plot and 4800 for peach and apple, individually. Percent fruit injury between treatments was analyzed with mixed model ANOVA and means separation with Tukey’s LSD.
- April 2014 (Nielsen, Blaauw, and Polk): Establish and mark plots and provide management plans to growers. Hire hourly laborers.
- Plots were selected in cooperation with growers.
- May – Sept, 2014 (Nielsen, Blaauw, and Polk): Weekly monitoring and data collection at farms. Interpret field data and consult with growers on management recommendations. Take video footage of sampling, identification and injury.
- Weekly sampling was completed
- Pictures of sampling were taken, not video
- June 2014 (Nielsen, Blaauw and Polk): Twilight meeting at cooperating grower sites to demonstrate IPM-CPR tactics. Take video footage of demonstration at grower orchard.
- South Jersey Fruit Twilight , Glassboro, NJ “Insect Management Update”, 25 attendees, B. Blaauw
- June – August, 2014 (Blaauw): Place sticky cards and collect to monitor beneficial insects
- June – Sept, 2014 (Nielsen, Polk): Develop newsletter articles for commercial growers that include ongoing results and management in demonstration plots.
- In progress
- Sept 2014: Recruit undergraduate student from Rutgers Mason Gross School of Art to create demonstration video.
- Video was not taken, will incorporate pictures into video ourselves
- October, 2014 (Polk): Meet with growers and collect pesticide use records.
- Completed, still analyzing
- October, 2014 (Nielsen and Blaauw): Analyze pest, beneficial insect, and pesticide use data. Develop extension fact sheet.
- Data analysis on fruit injury complete
- Data collection on beneficial insect and pesticide use data still in progress
- December 2014 – March 2015 (Nielsen, Blaauw, and Polk): Present results at research and grower meetings. Share completed demonstration video of IPM-CPR program to Plant Pest Advisory, Nielsen lab webpage and grower meetings. Edit and expand the NJ Tree Fruit Production Guide to include results and project recommendations.
- Great Lakes Fruit and Vegetable EXPO – “How to manage Brown Marmorated Stink Bug and not abandon IPM” A. Nielsen, 155 attendees
- ESA National Meeting “ A. Nielsen, 40 attendees
- North Jersey Fruit Meeting, Pittstown, NJ “Management of BMSB and New Insecticides for Key Fruit Pests” A. Nielsen, 55 attendees
- South Jersey Fruit Meeting, Bridgeton, NJ “Managing BMSB and OFM with Less Insecticides (and Less Money)” A. Nielsen, 40 attendees
- Nielsen lab page created by B. Blaauw http://nielsenentlab.weebly.com/
- 2015 NJ Tree Fruit Production Guide edited to include IPM-CPR tactics
Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes
Harvest data from both peaches and apples demonstrates that IPM-CPR is a reduced insecticide input practice that can successfully manage key orchard pests including BMSB. This is the first IPM project to demonstrate management of BMSB as part of an orchard system while significantly reducing insecticide inputs. Although BMSB populations were low this year, this completes the third year of data collection for peaches, which has consistently shown equal if not lower catfacing damage, likely caused by BMSB, in IPM-CPR managed blocks. This is first year we demonstrated IPM-CPR in apples. Despite the more diverse pest complex and increased BMSB pressure prior to harvest, we saw the same results. Although preliminary, this suggests that this tactic is also applicable to apples and management may be able to be delayed until monitoring traps detect BMSB at the orchard edge. This project also has reintroduced NJ growers to mating disruption and groundcover management – two key IPM tactics for conservation of natural enemies. Our data also suggests that IPM-CPR conserves natural enemy services along the orchard interior, which may help prevent outbreaks of secondary pests such as wooly apple aphids, San Jose scale and mites. These secondary pests have become problematic due to the intense insecticide inputs for BMSB.
Department of Entomology
121 Northville Rd.
Bridgeton, NJ 08302
Office Phone: 8564553100
Fruit IPM Agent
283 Rt 539
Cream Ridge, NJ 08514
Office Phone: 6099021134