Insect Pest Management in High Tunnel (short version)


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This presentation was given on October 10, 2013, in Hartselle, AL. Has some news slides about factors that influence insect pests in high tunnels and some slides on how to improve quality of organic produce with correct use of organic insecticides. Refer to the other long version of the high tunnel IPM presentation I have for details about the three-tiered IPM recommendations for Alabama producers.

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Insect Pest Management in High Tunnel (short version)

  1. 1. Integrated Pest Management in High Tunnel Crops Dr. Ayanava Majumdar (Dr. A) Ext. Entomologist & State SARE Coordinator Auburn, AL 36849 Tel: (251) 331-8416 HT Training Workshops, AL, 2013
  2. 2. Why are INSECTS so successful? • Small size • Small food requirement • Rapid and prolific reproduction – Parthenogenesis • Grow by molting (control over growth rate) • Life stages feed on different substrate
  3. 3. Why are INSECTS so successful?
  4. 4. High Tunnel Environment • • • • • Season extension = Early onset of insects!! It gets hot & humid (PASSIVE VENTILATION) Heat shortens insect lifecycles. It is very dry on leaf surface (NO RAINFALL) High planting density & diversity (HOST PLANTS)
  5. 5. High Tunnel Basics • Bottom line 1: Prevention is better than cure! • Bottom line 2: Manage insects when they are small/low numbers! • Bottom line 3: ANY INTERVENTION IN INSECT ACTIVITY IS BETTER THAN DOING NOTHING!!
  6. 6. What is it? Greenhouse whitefly, Trialeurodes vaporariorum (flatenned wings) Silverleaf whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (tented wings) • First reported from USA in 1870 • Adults are 1.5 mm long, covered with white waxy material • Piercing and sucking mouthparts • Eggs laid on plants • Crawlers or nymphs feed on one location • 30 days for one generation • Higher temps may inhibit the whiteflies • Biological control: Encarsia formosa
  7. 7. What is it? Potato aphid, Macrosiphum euphorbiae Green peach aphid, Myzus persicae Monitoring/scouting techniques: Sample ten plants in several locations Yellow sticky traps at edge of field Like cool, dry weather Watch for ants and lady beetles ET = 50% leaves with aphids Host range: 40 host plants
  8. 8. What is it? Onion thrips, Thrips tabaci Tobacco thrips, Frankliniella fusca Host plants: tomato, peanuts, cotto n, beans Monitoring/scouting techniques: Use sticky cards (yellow, blue) Bag and shake technique No action threshold Use resistant varieties (BHN 444, 589, 640, Bella Rosa) Tomato spotted wilt destroys plants
  9. 9. What is it? Monitoring/scouting techniques: Flea beetles (many species) Monitor level of defoliation Sample small plants with sweep net during morning hours Observe activity of parasitoids, predators (sweep net) ET = 5-10% defoliation early season, 2530% defoliation mid-season Host plants: potato, tomato, peppers, br occoli, cabbage, okra, etc.
  10. 10. Spider mites • • • • Major pest of open field & high tunnel crops Extensive webbing on leaves/stems Rapid buildup in hot dry weather Difficult to control with approved pesticides
  11. 11. Identification & Scouting Twospotted spider mite (TSM): • Carry a 10X hand lens • Females are larger than males • Oval adults, eggs glued to webbing • Underside of leaves & leaf tips • Wide host range Twospotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae Tomato russet mite (TRM): • Smaller than TSM • Carry a 14X hand lens • Adults are elongate • Infestation starts from lower leaves • Leave edges, stems, fruits (small) Tomato russet mite • Solanaceous host plants Acilops lycopersici
  12. 12. Crop damage TSM: – Leaf drying – Extensive webbing – Slight bronzing TRM: – Greasy bronzing (russet color) – Sudden dry out (lower leaves)
  13. 13. What is it? • Polyphagous insect (tomato, pepper, cotton, soybe an, alfalfa) • Have many wild hosts – lambsquarter & pigweed Beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua • Creamish or light-green caterpillar, 4 pairs of prolegs • Black spot on thorax just above the leg • Early instars feed voraciously • Moths are attracted to weak plants Damage to pepper plant
  14. 14. Starting Point for IPM… • Emphasis on Pest Detection & Correct Identification: – INSECT PHEROMONE TRAPS for improved scouting – Trap Catch = Pest Density X Pest Activity (Taylor, 1963) – Insect Monitoring Project in Alabama, 2009-2010 Stink bug trap Sticky wing trap Corn rootworm trap
  15. 15. What is it? Southern green stink bug, Nezara viridula Monitoring/scouting techniques: Use a sweep net Use pheromone trap (expensive? cumbersome?) Intensify scouting at fruit setting Host: >52 plants Brown stink bug, Euschistus servus ET = 0.25 bugs per 10 plants (green fruit stage) Lygus bug, Lygus lineolaris Stink bug feeding injury
  16. 16. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Tactics
  17. 17. What is IPM? • “Integrated pest management (IPM) is a threshold based decision management system which leads to judicious use of multiple pest control tactics.” • IPM is currently insecticide-intensive… • Major losses occur due to: • Lack of early detection of insects • Insecticide resistance by misuse • Loss of natural control with insecticides
  18. 18. USDA National Organic Program Standards (applicable in gardening situation also!) • Level 1: Systems-based practices (variety selection, sanitation, crop rotation, weed control, trap crops*) • Level 2: Mechanical and physical practices (barriers, lures/traps, repellents, hand-picking, net house*) • Level 3: Biorational & other material (OMRI *Discussed later in this presentation
  19. 19. Trap Crop Applications Sorghum trap crop on two sides of a high tunnel can act as barrier to pest migration. Sorghum & sunflower trap crops ahead of a high tunnel.
  20. 20. Trap crop study for leaffooted bugs (Clanton, AL, 2012) Manual removal in organic situation 19 18 Insecticide treatment and/or manual removal in organic situation 11 DKB5400 (sorghum trap crop) NK300 (sorghum trap crop) Sunflower (trap crop) Tomato (main crop) 4 0 2 0 2 2 0 4 0 2 3 0 0 1 0 Obs. 1 Obs. 2 Obs. 3 Obs. 4 Obs. 5 Obs. 6 Obs. 7 (21 July) (4 Aug.) (13 Aug.) (5 Sep.) (7 Sep.) (20 Sep.) (4 Oct.) Numbers indicate leaffooted bugs (LFBs) on 20 heads of trap crops and 20 tomato plants for comparison purposes. Trap crops planted on May 16. Main crop planted on June 1. Trap crop treated with Mustang Max (zeta-cyper. @ 4 oz/A) on Sept. 5, 2012. Result = 78% LFB control in 5DAT. Tomato main crop is attacked by LFBs after the trap crop is ineffective (in October).
  21. 21. Damage  Both adults and larvae feed on foliage by first making small holes; later serious defoliation Defoliation of larvae on turnip Mass attack of adults on napa cabbage
  22. 22. Field Trials-Managing YMLB with Trap crop Spring 2011 Napa cabbage Main crop 35 ft Trap crop Turnip
  23. 23. First Net House in Alabama (2010) Location: Baldwin County, AL Dimensions: 150 ft X 48 ft X 17 ft Entrance: Double door Fabric mesh 30-50 as insect barrier Mesh size depends on target insect & cost
  24. 24. Insect Netting Applications Insect netting on the sides and front (improved air flow) Use insect netting over the entire high tunnel frame
  25. 25. Who kills Pests? Natural Enemies Predators: – Ladybugs, Spiders • General feeders • Eat several prey • Larger and stronger than the prey Parasitoids (=parasites): – Wasps, Flies • Specialist feeders • Kill only one host (pest) • Smaller than the host Pathogens: – Bacteria, Fungus & Viruses • Micro-organisms that cause diseases in insects 25
  26. 26. Insecticide Mode of Action (MoA) Physical dessicant – kaolin clay, ash Contact action – vegetable oils, horticultural oils, neem, pyrethrin, insecticidal soap, spinosyn, Beauveria, Metarhizium Stomach action – Bt (Dipel) Volatile action – Garlic Barrier, Cinnamite
  27. 27. Fruit quality with Xentari (Bt aizawai) (Cullman, 2012) Untreated crop with 90% caterpillar damage & irregular fruit size Xentari foliar treatment with <20% caterpillar damage & uniform fruit size
  28. 28. Fruit quality with Pyganic (pyrethrum) (Cullman, 2012) Untreated check Pyganic foliar 30% fruit damage 90% fruit damage
  29. 29. Fruit quality with Xentari (Bta) + Pyganic (Late season treatment, Cullman, 2012) Check plots Xentari + Pyganic foliar
  30. 30. High Tunnel Pest Management Tips • • • • • Practice sanitation and strict weed control Regular irrigation, reduce stress Scout weekly to find insect hot spots, then treat. Choices: Conventional (drip) or Organic (foliar) Organic approved i-cides: – Bt products (Xentari®, Thuricide®) – Spinosad (Entrust®, Monterey Spinosad®) – Pyrethrin (Pyganic®, Natural Pyrethrin®) – Neem with azadirachtin (Molt-X®, Neemix®) – New products: Azera • Use insecticidal oils carefully (do not use >85F) • Use a good quality backpack sprayer.
  31. 31. High Tunnel Pest Management Tips • Use biological control when possible. • Use biological control and organic insecticides at the first detection, continue for 2-3 weeks. • Reduce insecticide use when using nonselective insecticides. • Treat the bottom on leaves and soil below the plants. • Mix fresh spray solution and calibrate sprayer. Change nozzles when needed.
  33. 33. Know the IPM Campaign! Campaign items: Display magnets, bookmarks (4 designs), IPM exhibitions
  34. 34. Vegetable IPM Website
  35. 35. Alabama SARE Website
  36. 36. Join Vegetable IPM on Facebook! Advantages: Live updates, interact with researchers, videos and photos, IPM contest
  37. 37. Join Commercial Horticulture on Facebook! Advantages: Live updates, interact with researchers, videos and photos, IPM contest
  38. 38. The IPM Communicator (A FREE electronic newsletter) To signup: Email Or sign up today on the sheet provided!
  39. 39. Acknowledgements Chris Becker, REA Willie Datcher, REA FUNDING SOURCES: USDA Organic Agriculture Program, SARE initiative, Specialty Crops Grant, Wallace