This research project will develop, evaluate, and implement novel low-risk multi-tactic strategies to monitor and manage two U.S. native weevil pests, the plum curculio (PC) and the cranberry weevil (CBW), in two high value specialty crops: peaches and blueberries. These are multi-million dollar fruit crops in the northeastern U.S., where PC and CBW are identified as key pests. Current management practices for these weevils rely solely on insecticides and since these are the subject of rigorous restrictions, development of new alternatives is desperately needed for their control. For instance, monitoring and management strategies developed for PCs in apple agroecoystems point toward strong potential for application in peaches and blueberries, and for similar approaches likely to be developed for CBW. Specific objectives are to: isolate and identify candidate olfactory stimuli associated with host- and mate-finding, optimize effective deployment strategies for known and novel olfactory stimuli (attractants and repellents), evaluate efficacy of combinations of multiple management approaches for optimal weevil control, and actively promote outreach and information exchange among stakeholder groups. We expect to refine components of the CBW pheromone and identify host-plant volatile cues; manipulate host- and mate-finding behavior and promote aggregation of adults within spatially precise locations within peaches (PC) and blueberries (PC, CBW), develop novel multi-component strategies for weevil control in peach and blueberries, including attract-and-control approaches (PC and CBW); biological (entomopathogenic nematodes) control tactics (PC); and c) combinations of behavioral, chemical, and biological strategies (PC); and, disseminate information about the semiochemical-based monitoring and management technologies. By identifying and using host- and mate-finding olfactory stimuli to aggregate weevil activity within specific baited plant canopies, innovative and targeted management strategies specifically designed for adult weevils that function optimally within a spatially precise location can be deployed. Because we have already identified attractants for these two weevils and promising strains of entomopathogenic nematodes for management of PC larvae, we anticipate an extremely important impact of extending the proposed strategies beyond apple to other fruit crops will be to facilitate the availability of effective commercial products to growers for monitoring and managing these weevil pests. We have partnered with three companies to develop semiochemical-based products for PC and CBW. This multi-regional, multi-disciplinary, and multi-crop proposal addresses all three PMAP program objectives and the National Road Map for IPM priority focus area.
|Effective start/end date||9/1/11 → 8/31/14|
- National Institute of Food and Agriculture (National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA))