Pest Management

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Evaluate SSCD systems with apple and cherry pest management programs that are economically and environmentally sustainable including canopy and soil applications of insecticides, fungicides, and pheromones.  We will also determine the impact of this system on ecosystem services (i.e. predator/prey relationships).

Year 1 Experiments:
Initially, the SSCD system will be evaluated in small replicated plots at university research farms.  The engineering team will design a basic SSCD system for use by the pest management and horticultural teams based on “proof of concept” systems until an optimized SSCD system is created.

3 Objectives
Compare SSCD, typical airblast spray and untreated control by examining:
1) Season-long pest programs

  • Examine disease incidence of apple scab, powdery mildew, and sooty blotch in MI & NY.¬† In WA, monitor cherry and apple powdery mildew and post harvest fruit rots.
  • Examine insect control of codling moth and obliquebanded leafroller in MI, NY and WA, as well as oriental fruit moth in MI.

2) Field-based bioassays

  • For each disease or pest, we will take leaf or fruit samples from each type of spray system (SSCD, airblast, or untreated) and introduce them to a pest.¬† We expect that the SSCD system will have as much or more ‚Äúkilling power‚Äù against pests compared to methods currently used.
  • We will test traditional chemicals, but also those with low residuals like Bt, viruses, and beneficial nematodes.

3) Pheromone Research

  • We will test three forms of pheromones for codling moth and oriental fruit moth.
    • Raw pheromone, Encapsulated pheromone, Untreated control
    • Currently pheromones are used for mating disruption;¬†meaning there is so much attractive ‘scent’ in the orchard that the males have trouble finding the females. ¬†They are applied with dispensers that look like twist ties or puffers attached high in the canopy.¬† However, the SSCD system could allow for pheromones to be applied directly through the spray, eliminating the need for applying dispensers by hand in the orchard and possibly improved pest control.

Team Members:
Michigan: Matthew Grieshop, Larry Gut, James R. Miller, Mark Whalon,
Washington: Jay Brunner, Keith Granger
New York: Arthur Agnello

Plant Pathology
Michigan: George W. Sundin
Gary Grove
New York:
Kerik Cox


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