Evaluation of hydrophobic and hydrophilic kaolin particle films for peach crop, arthropod and disease management

Norman Lalancette, Robert D. Belding, Peter W. Shearer, Jerome L. Frecon, William H. Tietjen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Hydrophobic and/or hydrophilic kaolin particle film treatments to peach (Prunus persica (L) Batsch) trees were evaluated for crop and pest management capabilities in six studies from 1997 to 2000. Unsprayed control and standard treatments, the latter consisting of a commercial pesticide program, were included for comparison. Treatments in initial studies were appled via handgun, which resulted in a uniform and heavy deposit of kaolin after the first application. In contrast, treatments in subsequent studies used airblast equipment, which provided a uniform but less dense coverage, even after multiple applications. Results showed that both formulations of kaolin provided control of oriental fruit moth (Grapholita molesta (Busck)), plum curculio (Conotrachelus nenuphar (Herbst)) and Japanese beetle (Popillia japonica Newman) that was comparable with or better than the standard pesticide program. Effective management of late season catfacing insects (tarnished plant bugs Lygus lineolaris (Palisot de Beauvois) and stinkbugs Acrosternum hilare (Say), Euschistus servus (Say), and E tristigmus (Say)) and leafrollers (undetermined species) was also observed, although kaolin applications significantly increased phytophagous mite (Panonychus ulmi (Koch)) levels. In contrast to arthropod management, kaolin failed to control either peach scab (Cladosporium carpophilum (Von Thümen)) or rusty spot (Podosphaera leucotricha (Ell & Ev) ES Salmon) in any of the 4 years of the study. However, hydrophobic kaolin provided effective brown rot (Monilinia fructicola (G Winter) Honey) control when applied via handgun, and partial control when applied via airblast; hydrophilic kaolin failed to provide any control. These results suggest that hydrophobicity and deposit density may be important factors for effective disease management. The application of kaolin significantly delayed fruit maturation, increased fruit size and increased soluble solids relative to the standard. This effect, attributed to a reduction in plant stress, also resulted in increased fruit number and yield on young trees, indicating that an accentuated beneficial response from kaolin applications may be possible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-39
Number of pages15
JournalPest management science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Insect Science


  • Arthropod management
  • Disease management
  • Integrated pest management
  • Kaolin
  • Particle film
  • Peach
  • Prunus persica


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