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USDA Northeastern IPM Project:  Development and Implementation of Novel Trapping Systems for Monitoring Cranberry Fruitworm and Cranberry Weevil


The proposed research investigates the role of volatiles from flower buds, flowers, and fruit as attractants for the cranberry weevil (CBW) and cranberry fruitworm (CBFW), two major pests in cranberries and blueberries in the Northeast; with the goal to develop traps that can be integrated into a reduced-risk pest management plan. Current control methods for CBW and CBFW involve applications of broad-spectrum organophosphates and carbamates. As broad-spectrum insect pest management tools become less available to cranberry and blueberry growers because of restrictions under the Food Quality Protection Act, effective monitoring tools need to be implemented in coordination with selective reduced-risk strategies to better assess time of applications. In fact, plant phenology appears to play a critical role with respect to the amount of damage caused by these two insects. In the past, pheromone traps used for monitoring adults of the CBFW have failed to predict fruit damage, and no traps are available to monitor CBW populations. New monitoring tools will prevent unnecessary insecticide applications, reduce management costs, and decrease the development of resistant populations. We are investigating the behavioral and antennal electrophysiological responses of CBW and CBFW to host-plant volatiles to identify attractants for the development of new traps. After laboratory evaluations, we plan to conduct “on-farm” demonstrations to correlate trap captures with respect to plant phenology, conduct large-scale field trials with reduced-risk compounds for use with traps, and deliver an educational program on the appropriate use of the new technologies in New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Michigan.


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    USDA-SARE Project: Spatially Based Whole-Farm Integrated Crop Management (ICM) Systems for Northeast Highbush Blueberry Production

Blueberries are produced in ecologically sensitive areas on porous soils with high water tables, and have a zero tolerance for many pests, resulting in significant pesticide use. While growers have embraced integrated pest management concepts, actual practices result in overuse of pesticides and fertilizers based on limited information of actual needs. This multi-state (New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland), multi-disciplinary (entomology, pathology, weed science, agricultural economics) project partners research, extension, and agency personnel with growers and industry to develop, implement, help deliver, and achieve adoption of sustainable spatially based whole-farm Integrated Crop Management (ICM) programs in Highbush blueberries in the Northeast US. ICM programs use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to reduce pesticide applications, improve pesticide and fertilizer recommendations, reduce management costs, and increase adoption of reduced-risk practices. The implementation of ICM programs is being measured by changes in pest populations and pesticide costs, and by the ecological impact on natural enemies. Adoption of ICM programs and reduced-risk practices are achieved through an innovative educational program directed to at least 60 growers from NJ, PA, and MD that will include grower participation, presentations at stakeholder meetings, on-farm demonstrations, and training programs. Outcomes are presented in newsletters, fact sheets, reports, and a project website. At the end of 3 years we expect at least 20 (of more than 60) growers to implement two or more ICM-based practices. This project contributes to the Northeastern SARE outcome statement of demonstrating effectiveness of environmentally friendly and cost-effective alternatives to pesticides.