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  • Funded by USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture

    The Southern Region IPM Center is located at North Carolina State University, 1730 Varsity Drive, Suite 110, Raleigh, NC 27606, and is sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
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Researchers Develop First Gene Drive Targeting Worldwide Crop Pest

From UC San Diego News Center

Biologists at the University of California San Diego have developed a method of manipulating the genes of an agricultural pest that has invaded much of the United States and caused millions of dollars in damage to high-value berry and other fruit crops.

Research led by Anna Buchman in the lab of Omar Akbari, a new UC San Diego insect genetics professor, describes the world’s first “gene drive” system—a mechanism for manipulating genetic inheritance—in Drosophila suzukii, a fruit fly commonly known as the spotted-wing drosophila. Continue reading

Blueberry Pest Management Field Day tackles integrated approach to gall midge and spotted wing drosophila

By Cristina deRevere, University of Georgia

With spring approaching, blueberry farmers focus on maximizing their 2018 yields, which means finding new ways to deal with pests like gall midge and spotted wing drosophila.

To help these growers stay on top of potential pest problems, University of Georgia integrated pest management (IPM) researchers hosted a spring field day in Alma, Georgia, on Feb 21. Over 70 regional farmers from several southwestern Georgia counties, such as Bacon, Clinch, Appling and Pierce, attended the half-day event. Continue reading

IPM Enhancement Grant projects examine agricultural, urban issues

The Southern IPM Center will spend $309,653 to address agricultural and urban issues during the next year with its IPM Enhancement Grant. Out of 32 proposals submitted to the program, a review panel outside of the region selected 11 for funding.

IPM Enhancement Grants are relatively small grants (up to $30,000 for most) to address an integrated pest management issue. Most publicly funded organizations are eligible to apply as long as they reside in one of the 13 states or territories covered by the Southern IPM Center. Continue reading

Webinar: Organic Management of spotted wing drosophila

Spotted wing drosophila (SWD) has emerged as a devastating pest of small and stone fruits worldwide. We have organized a webinar to provide you with the most updated information on everything you need to know for organic management of SWD. Continue reading

University of Florida doctoral student wins award for work with spotted wing drosophila

Although it is no longer a new pest, spotted wing drosophila continues to be a bane for small fruit—especially organic—growers. To help both organic and conventional growers fight the pest, a University of Florida doctoral student examined several pest management options and has won a regional award for her research.

Lindsy Iglesias

Lindsy Iglesias, who will graduate from the University of Florida in May with her Ph.D., discovered some novel and more efficient ways to scout and control spotted wing drosophila, or SWD, that will work for both organic and conventional growers. She won a Friends of Southern IPM Graduate Student Award from the Southern IPM Center for her work. Continue reading

Upcoming Webinar – Good Bugs vs. Bad: Using Biological Controls in SWD Management

The Spotted Wing Drosophila research team will be presenting the second of their annual webinar series on on Feb. 23, 2018, from 12 to 1 p.m. Titled “Good Bugs vs Bad: Using Biological Controls in SWD Management,” this webinar will include an overview of the project, an update on the native biocontrol agents that have been found in surveys at farms from Oregon to Maine, and the latest information on their search for parasitic wasps from Asia.

This webinar is free and open to all thanks to funding from the USDA Specialty Crop Research Initiative. Register with your name and email address at Good Bugs vs Bad: Using Biological Controls in SWD Management.

Learn more about this webinar.

UGA entomologist encourages the use of cultural practices in managing spotted wing drosophila (SWD)

by Clint Thompson, University of Georgia

University of Georgia entomologist Ashfaq Sial advises Georgia blueberry farmers to manage the spotted wing drosophila (SWD), the crop’s most destructive pest, by incorporating cultural practices into farming.

Practices likes heavy pruning, controlled burns of the wooded areas surrounding blueberry fields, and the use of weed mat as a ground cover are effective management tools. These practices ensure the success of SWD management programs implemented during harvest, the time when blueberries are most vulnerable to SWD infestations. Continue reading