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Towards Reduction or Elimination of Organophosphate and Other Pesticides Used in Pear Management

Grant Recipient:

Oregon State University

Project Period:

March 2002 to March 2003

Principal Investigator:

Philip VanBuskirk, Richard Hilton and David Sugar, Oregon State University

Description
Starting in 1995, southern Oregon participated in a five-year multi-state areawide IPM project, the Codling Moth Areawide Management Project (CAMP). During the course of the project, synthetic pesticide use was reduced by an average of 75 percent and OP use by 66 percent for a per acre savings of over $200/year. In 2000, an estimated 50 percent of the pome fruit acreage in southern Oregon was using codling moth mating disruption. In 2001, a new multi-state project funded by IFAFS and RAMP, dubbed Areawide II, was initiated with the goal of stabilizing and extending the codling moth mating disruption system to 75 percent of pome fruit acreage. In the meantime, however, the use of mating disruption dropped to about 40 percent in southern Oregon. This project addresses the downturn with the goal of bringing acreage back into IPM. The project cooperators are working in Jackson and Josephine counties where 45 percent of the state’s pears are grown (10 percent of the national production) (7,200 acres). They hope to have 80-90 percent of the acres intensively monitored for pests and 75 percent under a coding moth disruption program to reduce pesticide use. They also hope to have 90 percent of the growers participating in training programs and 75 percent using weather information. They also plan to implement a program to deal with pest problems generated by abandoned orchards and backyard trees.

Project goals and objectives
Reduce synthetic pesticide use, by:

Increased intensity of pest monitoring from 65% to 80-90% of acreage

Increase participation in training on alternatives to organophosphates 70% growers/60% fieldmen to 90% of acreage

Increase the acreage in the present IPM program from 50% to 75%

Increase use of local weather data and degree-day models for spray decisions from 50% to 75% of acreage

Identify, map & remove abandoned orchards and/or rogue pome fruit trees

Outcomes
Based on survey results, 100 percent of respondents are now using pest monitoring as a tool to make spray decisions and half are using the information the project posted on the web. Eighty-eight percent of respondents (representing 28 percent of the pear acreage) are maintaining or increasing their acreage in mating disruption. Because many orchard scouts are native Spanish speakers, the project produced a Spanish version of the “Orchard Pest Monitoring Guide for Pears” and distributed 500 copies (in cooperation with another AFT/EPA project, Developing, Implementing and Assessing an Educational Program for Use in the Adoption of Reduced Risk Pesticide Management Practices by Hispanic Tree Fruit Growers. Growers that reduced or eliminated OP’s found their costs comparable to conventional spray programs in spray cost and fruit quality and quantity. The Pest Alert web page began operating on February 23, 2002, now covers five fruit growing areas of Oregon (Rogue Valley, Hood River, Roseburg, North Willamette Valley and South Willamette Valley) and has registered almost 25,000 hits.

The pest problem posed by abandoned orchards and unattended backyard trees was addressed by an extensive education campaign involving videos, pamphlets and advertisements. This led to first an emergency ordinance and then the passage of a county ordinance directly targeted at resolving the concern in 2002. Over 80 percent of the large abandoned blocks of orchards were removed in 2003 and 30 homeowners participated in the backyard program.

Project Links
ipmnet.bcc.orst.edu/pestalert/index.cfm

Since its inception in late February 2002, there have been 3809 hits from all over the world for an average of 544 hits monthly.

American Farmland Trust