Good Fruit Grower

May 15

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Enhanced Biocontrol stable integrated pest management program incorporates a balance of chemical and biological control (also known as biocontrol) components. For many years, IPM programs in western orchard systems were fairly stable, thanks to broad-spectrum pesticides that controlled key pests and natural enemies that became resistant to them. Then, legislatively mandated changes in pesticide use resulted in the unintentional disruption of natural enemies. Growers were faced with having to spray more to control outbreaks of secondary pests. Over the past four years, we have evaluated effects of certain pesticides on a number of key natural enemies found in tree fruit orchards; we have developed and tested new monitoring tools for natural enemies; and we have teased out who eats codling moth in orchards. Now, in the project's final year, it is time to complete our work by getting the results into the hands of the industry. Promoting biocontrol by engaging stakeholders. Overcoming real and perceived barriers Growers who stated in surveys that they do not rely on biological control for even some of their secondary pests also stated that they lack the knowledge to effectively implement biocontrol. The good news is that, even without realizing it, these growers are probably already using IPM strategies that enhance biocontrol. For example, integrated mite management avoids the use of nonselective miticides, sulfur fungicides, and other pesticides that would be toxic to mite predators as well as apple rust mite, the alternative prey of predatory mites. Also, planting cover crops provides alternative food sources like pollen and nectar for many parasitic wasps and hover flies, both natural enemies of aphids. Other practices, such as spot or alternate-row spraying, mating disruption, and the use of degree-day models for spray timing limit the exposure of natural enemies to potentially toxic pesticides. by Wendy Jones, Angela Gadino, Ute Chambers, and Jay Brunner, Washington State University, Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center, Wenatchee How can stakeholders learn more about biocontrol? Based on this, we focused our outreach goal on shrinking the knowledge barrier to adopting biocontrol practices by offering targeted training on how they can be an integral part of IPM programs and by providing information on how to enhance natural enemy activity. To meet the need of further training on biocontrol, we initially targeted pest managers and crop consultants, since they directly influence pest management decisions. In response to surveys with apple and pear growers and crop consultants, we developed different information delivery methods. In addition to field day events, trade magazine articles, and presentations at grower meetings, we wanted to offer more in-depth and hands-on training experiences. Photo by Stacy McDonalD, WSU-tFREc Outreach: The FINAL GOAL Angela Gadino discusses natural-enemy monitoring techniques with Leo Garcia during a workshop preceding the WSU Sunrise Orchard Field Day last August. basics of biocontrol to new information about pesticide effects on natural enemies. All presentations and handbook materials from this short course can be accessed at http://enhancedbiocon Feedback from this short course inspired us to offer additional hands-on and interactive workshops that focused more closely on the biology and identification of natural enemies coupled with results from our project. During four-hour workshops held in February and March this year, the participants (mainly crop consultants) also learned about natural enemy monitoring and models, and how to select and use the newer pesticides to control pests while reducing impacts on biocontrol. Later this summer, we will have in-orchard, hands-on demonstrations of monitoring techniques and natural enemy identification during field days. Online resources Since not everyone can attend hands-on events and people have expressed a desire to learn more, we developed resources that are available on our project Web site (http://enhancedbiocon Under "Features," the Web site contains all project reports, surveys, and a summary of the pesticide effects on natural enemies. There are also narrated presentations and handouts from our 2012 short course and identification guides with photos and descriptions that can be downloaded. Published projectrelated articles are listed and linked to for viewing. Under "Gallery," visitors can find photos of common natural enemies classified by spiders, parasitoids, and predators. The image gallery also includes videos of some methods used in the project, interviews with consultants on the use of biocontrol, and more. Hands-on activities In February 2012, we invited pest managers and crop consultants to participate in an intensive two-day short course, held in Wenatchee and Pasco, Washington, and in Hood River, Oregon. During the course, the participants learned everything from the 12 May 15, 2013 GOOD FRUIT GROWER Direct technology transfer Our team also collaborated with crop consultants and orchard managers in testing new monitoring systems for natural enemies. The project provided lures and traps, while the consultants and

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