- Fruits: pears, general tree fruits
- Crop Production: cover crops, intercropping
- Education and Training: demonstration, on-farm/ranch research
- Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity
- Pest Management: biological control, biorational pesticides, integrated pest management, mating disruption, row covers (for pests), weed ecology
- Production Systems: agroecosystems
Effects of mowing frequency on densities of natural enemies and select pests in the soil, in the ground cover, on the orchard floor, and in the tree canopy was documented at 3 reduced-pesticide pear orchards. Densities of natural enemies and prey in the ground cover increased dramatically with reduced frequency of mowing. The effects translated into higher densities of some natural enemy taxa in the soil and, more importantly, in the tree canopy. Parasitism rates of codling moth and pear psylla were unaffected by mowing regime, although low rates of parasitism in all treatments may have obscured effects.
1. Determine the effects of mowing frequency on insect densities in the ground cover, in the soil, on the orchard floor, and in the tree canopy in mating disruption pear orchards, emphasizing effects on biological control organisms and their prey;
2. Quantify natural enemy impact in different mowing regimes by estimating parasitism rates of pear psylla, codling moth, and leafminer;
3. Present project at annual Field Days.