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IPM methods for blackcurrant gall mite and leaf midge: synthesis, validation and implementation in UK commercial blackcurrant production - HH3115TSF

Description
IPM methods for blackcurrant gall mite and blackcurrant leaf midge, based on those investigated in a previous DEFRA project (HH1942SSF), will be synthesized, validated and implemented into commercial practice in the UK. These pests are controlled currently by the broad-spectrum pyrethroid insecticide and acaricide fenpropathrin (Meothrin) but this active substance is being withdrawn due to the EU pesticides review.
The IPM methods for gall mite will integrate the use of resistant varieties, sprays of a selective acaricides at the start and peak of migration, timed using the gall mite migration forecasting model developed by HRI-East Malling in DEFRA project HH1736SSF, and cultural control methods. Biocontrol using a commercially available strain of the entomopathogenic fungus Verticillium lecanii, known to be highly pathogenic to blackcurrant gall mite and known to be a naturally occurring pathogen of the mite, will also be investigated.
For leaf midge, natural enemies, including the parasitic wasp Platygaster demades, identified as a key natural enemy in project HH1942SSF, will be exploited to naturally regulate the pest below damaging levels. The hypothesis that the leaf midge is a secondary pest caused by the use of broad-spectrum insecticides will be tested. A selective insecticide for control of leaf midge will be identified.
The IPM methods will be delivered, promoted and implemented into commercial blackcurrant production by involvement of GlaxoSmithKline (>95% of UK production area grown under contract) and the HDC. The methods will be safer to humans and the environment, reduce the occurrence of pesticide residues at harvest and will be compatible with IPM practices for other pests. They will deliver DEFRAs policy objectives of rational, minimal and safe use of insecticides and maintaining the UK industries competitive edge for control of the two most important pests of this important UK horticultural crop.
Objective
Objective 1. Synthesize and validate IPM methods for gall mite
1.1. Determine the long-term effectiveness of selective acaricide sprays at the start and peak of migration, timed by the HRI-East Malling forecasting model, for gall mite and reversion virus prevention on resistant versus susceptible cultivars.
1.2. Determine whether sulphur can be used on blackcurrant before and/or after flowering by quantifying the phytotoxic effects of sprays of sulphur including effects on growth and yield.
1.3. Identify an alternative selective acaricide to fenpropathrin for control of gall mite at the peak of migration that is not phytotoxic to blackcurrant
1.4. Determine whether foliar sprays of the commercially available strain of the entomopathogenic fungus Verticillium lecanii (Vertalec) can be exploited as a biocontrol agent of gall mite and identify the optimum time of year when it should be applied.
1.5. Validate the IPM methods for gall mite in commercial practice

Objective 2. Synthesize and validate IPM methods for blackcurrant leaf midge
2.1. To test the hypothesis that the parasitoid Platygaster demades, anthocorids and other natural enemies can establish and naturally regulate leaf midge populations to below damaging levels in commercial plantations over a three year period if broad-spectrum insecticides are not used and other practices to enhance the natural enemies are implemented.
2.2. Determine whether or not sprays of sulphur or of the selective acaricide identified in 1.3 above have an adverse affect on the key natural enemies of leaf midge.
2.3. To identify a selective insecticide treatment for control of blackcurrant leaf midge

Objective 3.Deliver and promote the IPM methods to UK blackcurrant growers

Project Documents
• Final Report : IPM methods for blackcurrant gall mite and leaf midge: synthesis, validation and implementation in UK commercial blackcurrant production   (786k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2003

To: 2006

Cost: £200,606
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Horticulture Research International, East Malling Research
Keywords
Farming              
Fruit              
Horticulture              
Others              
Pest Control              
Sustainable Farming and Food              
Sustainable Production              
Fields of Study
Horticulture
Horticulture