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Thrips palmi integrated control - PH0404

Description
Thrips palmi is a serious potential pest of a wide range of protected edible/ornamental crops in the UK and eradication measures based on intensive applications of agrochemicals are generally considered to be both undesirable and unsustainable. Contingency planning for this non-native pest has highlighted the urgent need for Improved integrated management strategies. The overall aim of this project is to develop IPM programmes for T. palmi, substantially increasing reliance on biological agents that will require the use of of a suite of natural enemies with complementary life histories and behaviours.

The aim of the current work is to take advantage of previous research findings to further develop IPM-based eradication programmes against T. palmi in key glasshouse crops. It will: evaluate the potential for control of T. palmi using existing and novel biological control agents both prophylactically and as an aid to eradication; establish compatibility of selected BCAs with chemical insecticides used in the host crop (cucumber) and mutual compatibility of the selected BCAs; evaluate the potential advantages of using the selected control agents in combination rather than individually in the above categories; design, evaluate and refine preliminary modular-based control strategies for the control of T. palmi
under quarantine cage conditions; and assess the potential for using the modular-based approach as an IPM strategy in other seelcted crops (e.g. aubergine and/or sweet pepper) and report on this via contingency plans.

More widely, the results of this project will reduce the UK protected crop industry’s dependence on chemical insecticides, thus contributing to Defra’s aims and objectives by providing sustainable pest management programmes based on a combination of compatible and complementary biologically based control measures and improving the competitiveness of the UK industry by satisfying retailer and consumer requirements for a reduction in the amount of chemical toxins used within the produce supply chain.
Objective
To take advantage of previous research findings to further develop IPM-based control/eradication programmes against T. palmi infesting cucumber crops and to consider constraints on extrapolating findings to other crops (by preparing draft contingency plans for T. palmi eradication in cucumber, aubergine and sweet pepper) within the constraints of a finite budget by:

1. Evaluating the potential for control of T. palmi of existing and novel biological control agents, within the following categories:
a. prophylactic use of foliage and flower inhabiting natural enemies of suppress population development and reduce establishment potential
b. prophylactic use of generalist natural enemies in the surface layer of soil to suppress population development and reduce establishment potential
c. use of invertebrate natural enemies to help eradicate/contain T. palmi populations
d. use of entomopathogens to help eradicate/contain T. palmi populations
2. Establishing compatibility of selected BCAs with chemical insecticides used in the host crop (cucumber), and mutual compatibility of the selected BCAs
3. Evaluating the potential advantages of using the selected control agents in combination rather than individually in the above categories.
4. Designing, evaluating and refining preliminary modular-based control strategies for the control of T. palmi under quarantine cage conditions
5. Assess the potential for using the modular-based approach as an IPM strategy in other crops (selected by agreement with steering group but possibly including aubergine and/or sweet pepper) and report on this via draft contingency plans.
Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : PH0404 SID5 Appendices   (445k)
• FRP - Final Report : PH0404 SID5 May2011   (382k)
• SD5 - Final Report - SID5A : PH0404 SID5a   (269k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2005

To: 2009

Cost: £226,007
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Central Science Laboratory
Keywords
Plant health              
Plant Pests and Diseases              
Plants and Animals              
Fields of Study
Plant Health