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Evaluation of Pest Management Tactics for Organic Apple Production A. Agnello, H. Reissig, and D. Combs

Summary: Evaluation of Pest Management Tactics for Organic Apple Production
A. Agnello, H. Reissig, and D. Combs
Department of Entomology, NYSAES, Geneva, NY 14456
Final Report 2000
In New York State, a large number of both native and introduced insect and mite species
attack apples grown in commercial apple orchards. Control of this pest complex is particularly
challenging, because unlike the more arid apple production regions on the West Coast, apple
orchards in N.Y. are commonly in close proximity to semi-wooded areas having an abundance of
wild apple and hawthorn species that can harbor fairly large populations of certain apple insect
pests. Traditionally, conventional apple orchards in N.Y. have been treated heavily with
insecticides and acaricides to control this extensive complex of arthropod pests.
In the past, very few growers in the Northeast have attempted to produce apples organically
without using conventional, broad-spectrum pesticides, because of the practical difficulties
involved in controlling insects and mites in this region. However, during the last 1015 years,
extensive studies have been conducted to develop management programs that can replace current
strategies that rely primarily on pesticide applications. For example, recent studies have shown
that a predaceous mite species, Typhlodromus pyri (Scheuten), which is native to apple
production regions in Western N.Y., can successfully control populations of the key mite pest
species, European red mite [Panonychus ulmi (Koch)], in commercial apple orchards, so that no
applications of miticides are required for seasonal control. Recent experiments in N.Y. and


Source: Agnello, Arthur M. - Department of Entomology, Cornell University


Collections: Biology and Medicine