Successes and challenges with adoption of whole farm mating disruption programsby commercial fruit growers in Eastern United States –a Pennsylvania perspective


Abstract: Codling moth (CM) and Oriental fruit moth (OFM) continue to be the most seriousinsect threats to the profitable production and sale of fruit in Pennsylvania. The Whole FarmMating Disruption (WFMD) program started in 2006 as an effort to assist growers throughpractical process of integrating mating disruption (MD) into their established pest managementprograms. During the 2009 season 21 growers from 11 counties across Pennsylvania took part inthe WFMD program. All growers marketed their produce through retail markets such as roadsidestands or farmers markets.The MD products in apple orchards included: CheckMate® CM/OFM Duel and Isomate®CM/OFM TT. Mating disruption materials in peach blocks included: Disrupt OFM® mats,CheckMate OFM, and Isomate M-100. In apple orchards growers monitored codling moth,Oriental fruit moth, tufted apple bud moth, obliquebanded leafroller, dogwood borer, and applemaggot while in stone fruit also lesser peach tree borer, and peach tree borer. Pest managementdecisions were based upon local pest populations determined by insect monitoring and fruitevaluations. In-situ fruit evaluations were conducted twice per season, once during mid-season(summer) and again at harvest (fall). Although the number of fruit evaluated per orchard varied,at least 5 blocks and 4 x 100 half fruit (400 per block/cultivar) were evaluated in each orchardduring each fruit injury assessment.The control of the CM/OFM complex was outstanding in the majority of orchards, althoughin some isolated orchards, unexpected outbreaks of secondary pests, such as plum curculio andvarious stink bug species caused some economic injury. On average, growers participating in theWFMD program reduced the number of insecticide applications and the total amount of usedinsecticide active ingredients by 40 to 75 percent.

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