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Controlling Oriental Fruit Moth in Peaches Using Mating Disruption and Assessing the Problem in Apples 2002

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Project Leader(s): Deborah I. Breth, Lake Ontario Fruit Program, Cornell Cooperative Extension

Cooperator(s): Drs. A. Agnello, W.H. Reissig, NYSAES, Dept. of Entomology

Growers in Niagara Co.; Eve’s Farm Advisory Service and Paddock Agricultural Consulting Service

Type of grant: Pheromones; biorationals; microbials; conventional pesticides

Project location(s): Niagara, Orleans, Monroe, and Wayne Counties and applicable to all Northeast where OFM are endemic.

Abstract: There has been an increase of peach acreage in NY by 11%, and 30% in numbers of peach trees planted. The increase has mainly been in processing peaches. Most of these plantings are interplanted near apple and pear orchards. The Oriental fruit moth (OFM) larva is an internal fruit pest of peaches, apples, and pear, and it feeds on shoots of peaches and apples. Two factors may be contributing to the increase in pressure from this pest: 1) OFM is less susceptible to the current pesticides used and 2) many apple growers are reduce the use of OP’s and other broad-spectrum insecticides in apples. Mating disruption (MD) was implemented in 210 acres of peaches using Isomate M100 twist ties. The principle behind MD is to flood the orchard with the sex attractant pheromone naturally exuded by the female OFM to attract the male. The males are not able to locate the female moths with the saturation of the orchard and so mating is prevented. Orchards under MD were compared to orchards under conventional insecticide management. Trap counts were essentially zero compared to much higher counts in Chem orchards. Fruit damage by plant bugs and OFM was on average lower than Chem treatments. Costs were higher in MD orchards compared to Chem orchards. There is a zero tolerance for internal worms in the fruit. Insecticide resistance bioassays were done for one generation of moths indicating up to 79 % survival of moths exposed to carbofuran, an indicator for organophosphate and carbamate resistance. If this actually reflects the whole population of OFM, it only allows for 2 alternative controls in peaches including MD and pyrethroids. Although the costs are higher in MD orchards in apples and peaches, the pesticide programs alone are not resulting in clean fruit which is impacting on growers decisions to increase the use of mating disruption in the area in both apples and peaches. There are several limitations to the success of MD for control of OFM and the technique must be thoroughly understood before implementation.

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