Fruit Tree Integrated Pest Management
Agriculture is a key part of the Rogue Valley’s economic base and an essential ingredient of our local quality of life. The thousands of acres of orchards provide green space and produce high value commodities that are sold around the world.
Pesticides yield great value to agriculture, and yet they have the potential to cause great harm if improperly used. We also hear public concerns regarding pesticides on our foods and in our environment every day. That's why it's so important that we work closely with agriculture to ensure safe and effective use of pesticides at all times and to provide them with pertinent safety information, for them and their employees. Programs to assist in preparing for the pesticide exam, continuing educational hours for those that have their pesticide licenses as well as programs on pesticide use and safety are conducted annually.
To date, growers have relied primarily on standard spray programs and non-selective pesticides. These conventional programs destroy most natural enemies resulting in elevated control cost and environmental degradation. One of our goals at the Southern Oregon Research & Extension Center is to develop integrated pest management programs which utilize alternatives to conventional pesticide applications. The use of mating disruption with sex pheromones for controlling codling moth in pears and apples and Oriental fruit moth in peaches is an example of a behavioral control method which has been adopted by a majority of local orchardists resulting in significant reductions in the amount of insecticides being applied.
Programs that OSU-SOREC has been working on include:
- Orchard scout training, for the monitoring of pest and
- the implementation of a soft pear pest management program that is minimally disruptive to beneficial insects that aid in the control of secondary pests within the orchards.
The objectives of the soft pear pest management program were to:
- To research, demonstrate and implement an IPM program on pear in southern Oregon;
- To evaluate the cost and benefits of an IPM vs. conventional pear production program; and
- where appropriate, to promote the adoption of IPM production practices.