Insect IPM Protocols for Fresh Cut Peonies: Protecting a New Alaskan Export Crop

2015 Annual Report for OW15-030

Project Type: Professional + Producer
Funds awarded in 2015: $48,872.00
Projected End Date: 03/31/2018
Grant Recipient: University of Alaska Fairbanks
Region: Western
State: Alaska
Principal Investigator:
Gino Graziano
University of Alaska Fairbanks, Cooperative Extension Service

Insect IPM Protocols for Fresh Cut Peonies: Protecting a New Alaskan Export Crop


Seven Alaska peony farms with from the Fairbanks area (4), Kenai Peninsula (2), and Mat-Su (1) participated in the initial year of monitoring for lygus bugs. The project has a goal of developing IPM protocols for lygus bugs in peony crops. In 2015 sampling protocols were established and subsequently revised to track the phenology of lygus bugs and document their abundance in different locations, both from region to region and on a smaller scale from field to border areas. IPM technicians provided supplies and sampling instructions to growers, who then sampled with sticky traps and sweep nets on a weekly basis. Thrips are also included in the sampling to contribute to ongoing research at Washington State University.
Most farms followed the protocols and collections from the sweep netting have been sent to the Dr. Sikes at the University of Alaska Museum of the North for curation. Insects on sticky traps are currently being identified and counted. A presentation to the Alaska Peony Growers Association will be given in January on progress of this project.
This project will continue during the 2016 field season and we will be replacing one of the producers. Next year some of the producers will be presenting to other peony growers what they have been doing to monitor insect populations at field days with a goal to making insect monitoring a standard practice.

Objectives/Performance Targets

Because we increased the number of cooperating peony farms we met all of our objectives and performance targets.


One producer had not make the collections necessary for the proposal and we decided to find another producer. Word had gotten out about the project and we had no trouble locating another peony farm that was wanting to collaborate on the project. We met all of our milestones. Data from all sticky card, traps and sweep netting from the 2015 summer work has been collected and entered into a database. These data will be analyzed after data collection in the summer of 2016

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

A preliminary report of the first year of work was presented to over 100 people at the Alaska Sustainable Agriculture meeting held in February 2016 in Anchorage and at the annual Alaska peony growers meeting held in January 2016 in Homer, Alaska. It has been noted that this year many peony growers started spraying for lygus bugs in anticipation of another outbreak. We are hoping that our research results from this project will prove to them that is economically beneficial to determine insect population levels first before spending money on insecticide applications.


Dr. Patricia Holloway
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Georgeson Botannical Garden
Fairbanks, AK 99775
Office Phone: 9074746686
Rita Jo Shoultz
Managing Partner
Alaska Perfect Peony
PO Box 15226
Homer, AK 99603
Office Phone: 9072358116
Website: www,
Dr. Jill Russell
Owner and Manage
Boreal Peonies
PO Box 16153
Two Rivers, AK 99176
Office Phone: 5132187228
Ronald Illingworth
North Pole Peonies, LLC
5730 Eielson Farm Rd.
North Pole, AK 99705
Office Phone: 9074880446
Dr. Beverly Gerdeman
Asst. Professor
Washington State University
16650 State Route 536
Mount Vernon, WA 98273-4768
Office Phone: 3608486145
Brian Schlumbohm
Slimtree Farm
7095 Snow White Court
Salcha, AK 99714
Office Phone: 9074604325
Susan Lincoln
Giggly Roots Gardens
19887 W. Giggly Girls Avenue
Willow, AK 99688
Office Phone: 9078549536
Dr. Derek Sikes
Curator of Insects
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Museum of the North
Fairbanks, AK 99775
Office Phone: 9074746278
Carolyn Chapin
Polar Peonies LLC
PO Box 84049
Fairbanks, AK 99708
Office Phone: 9075901700
Richard Pepper
Echo Lake Peonies
47937 Price Ave.
Soldotna, AK 99669
Office Phone: 9072625408
Website: www,