2011 Regional IPM Projects Help Find Solutions for Stink Bugs, Ticks, and Diseases

The Southern Regional IPM (S-RIPM) Competitive Grants Program funds projects that help to solve pest problems while reducing risks to human health and the environment. In 2011, the program has awarded approximately $800,000 to support six projects:

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug:  Impact of an Invasive Pest on Orchard and Vegetable IPM (NC State University: James Walgenbach, $148,153). Entomologists from North Carolina and Virginia team up to learn more about brown marmorated stink bug biology and develop management practices that include biological, chemical and cultural controls.

Ecologically driven stink bug management in commercial farmscapes (University of Georgia: Michael Toews, $140,167). Although several research projects in the past several years have sought to understand stink bug biology and develop management tools, stink bugs remain an elusive pest that continue to rise to the top of growers’ priority lists. A team from the University of Georgia will use previous research findings to focus on reproductive biology and test alternate spray treatments to reduce the amount of insecticides needed for control.

Application of weather dynamics to predict changes and enhance IPM strategies for the Gulf Coast tick (Texas A&M Research Foundation: Pete Teel, $132,589). Researchers from Texas AgriLife will develop an online forecasting system for predicting outbreaks of a pest that threatens ranchers and homeowners alike: ticks. Texas AgriLife entomologist Pete Teel will research weather patterns associated with tick outbreaks and develop an online system to predict tick populations.

Integrated Management of Colletotrichum and Phytophthora Crown Rot of Strawberry in the Southeast (NC State University: Frank Louws, $169,851). Plant pathologists from North Carolina State University and the University of Florida will search for ways to prevent crown rot diseases of strawberry. This joint research-extension project will use real-time PCR tools to detect DNA of the pathogen in asymptomatic plants, develop methods to manage the disease that will not encourage resistance, breed clean plant materials and extend information gained from the project to growers.

Diagnostic Image Series Development for Supporting IPM in the Southern Region (University of Florida: Carrie Harmon, $83,000). This project will add specific diagnostic images of disease pathogens to the online IPM library at Bugwood.org. Specialists in plant diagnostic centers in Florida, Kentucky, Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina, Mississippi and Texas will share current diagnostic images and prepare them for inclusion in the database, in addition to creating profiles of pathogens and plant diseases for specialists and the general public.

Comprehensive management of plant-parasitic nematodes on peach with cultural practices, novel biorationals, and reduced rates of fumigants (University of Georgia: Phillip Brannen, $129,913). This joint research-extension project will experiment with reduced-risk methods to manage nematodes in peach orchards. Georgia researchers will test how tall fescue can used as a cover crop to suppress nematode populations, and how using resistant rootstock and post planting reduced-risk fungicides can further reduce the needs for soil fumigants.

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