Trap Network for Insects that Attack Blueberry Fruit 2006
Project Leader: M. Shaw, CCE Tioga
Cooperators: J. Tamburello, Glenhaven Farm, et.al.
There are three main fruitworm pests blueberry growers battle in order to produce high quality fruit. The insect populations, distributions, and damage caused are not well understood, and growers’ approaches to managing these pests varies widely. Most blueberry growers want to reduce insecticide use not only to reduce their own exposure to pesticides, but also in response to customer demand.
For this project, a trap network on 10 farms in the program area was established to monitor pest levels and growers learned first hand how to identify the problem insects.
- Blueberry growers learned how to monitor for insect pests in their plantings and learned what economic impact the insects were having on their business. After the project, about 50% of the growers plan to use traps again next year, and the growers that spray for pest control sprayed 20% fewer insecticide sprays than normal. We discovered that two growers were spraying when they didn’t need to, and these growers plan to use the traps to help reduce insecticide use in the coming years.
- Two fact sheets and a web resource were developed to help blueberry growers around the state learn to use the traps to monitor for their insect pests.
- Traps will be used on farms in the coming years to monitor insect pest levels to see if they vary over the years. Two growers who were not part of the project in 2006 have shown interest in being involved in the future.
- Further research priorities for blueberry maggot control were identified and a trial is planned for next year. In addition, blueberry nutrition was an area identified that needs more research, but pursuing that project is contingent on new funding.
- Working relationships between growers and extension were greatly strengthened and other pest control questions (diseases, weeds) were answered while on the farm. As a result, weed and disease control will improve on the blueberry farms in the coming years.