Reduced Pesticide Use in Snap Bean Production with Accurate Risk Assessment
In 2004, the OSU Extension Service estimates (personal communication) that eighty percent of the snap bean plantings in Oregon’s Willamette River Basin were sprayed with Ronilan© fungicide, or an insecticide, or both without systematic risk assessment (field scouting). Ronilan© will no longer be available after 2005; alternative lower-risk fungicides are significantly more expensive. Further, major buyers are pressuring vegetable processors to not only establish stewardship programs, but also to document reduced use of pesticides. We propose to hire one part time employee for two years to: 1) manage a Bean Mold Task Force of growers, industry field representatives, and university faculty that will guide the Oregon processed vegetable industry as it transitions away from Ronilan©, 2) survey bean growers to determine the level of adoption of IPM field scouting procedures (mold, bug bite, irrigation management) in 2004 (last year), 2005, and 2006; 3) demonstrate field scouting procedures on selected farms during the growing 2005-06 growing seasons, and 4) to document and report pesticide use on beans by American Farmland Trust FQPA program participants and non participants. This individual will work closely and in concert with Oregon State University research and extension faculty on two related projects funded by the Oregon Processed Vegetable Commission. Our performance measures will be: 1) increased adoption of bean mold and bug bite field scouting procedures on the 165 NORPAC farms, and 2) documented reductions in fungicide and insecticide use on snap beans for processing among NORPAC growers during non outbreak years.
Project goals and objectives
1) Manage a Bean Mold Task Force of growers, industry field representatives, and university faculty that will guide the Oregon processed vegetable industry as it transitions away from Ronilan©
2) Survey all NORPAC bean growers to determine the level of adoption of IPM field scouting procedures (mold, bug bite, irrigation management) in 2004 (last year), 2005, and 2006;
3) Demonstrate field scouting procedures on selected farms during the growing 2005 and 2006 growing seasons, and
4) Document and report pesticide use on beans by American Farmland Trust FQPA (AFT) program participants and non-participants.
1). The grant led to the establishment of the Willamette Valley Bean Mold Task Force. The task force made up of growers, industry field representatives, and university faculty coordinated the design, implementation, and evaluation of field trials testing alternative strategies for controlling gray mold (Botrytis cineraria) and white mold (Sclerotinia sclerotiorum) in snap beans without the use of the fungicide Ronilan©. Ronilan© fungicide was used on approximately eighty percent of Oregon snap bean plantings during the 2004 growing season.
2). Grower surveys conducted in 2005 and 2007 and pesticide records for 2004 to 2006 indicate that although the total pounds of fungicide applied for mold control increased, the grower survey respondents were successful in transitioning to fungicides that pose a lower health risk to pesticide applicators and consumers. Survey results represent approximately fifty percent of the total bean acreage in Oregon. The OSU risk-of-mold field scouting protocol was not widely adopted.
3). A simplified “one-spray-decision check list” was developed and distributed to growers as an alternative to the formal scouting protocol. Work has begun on alternative bean mold risk assessment based on monitoring leaf wetness periods, an important predictor of mold development in snap beans.
4. Survey results showed an increase in grower knowledge and use of field scouting protocols (including sweep net action thresholds) and regional insect population trends for assessing risk of damage by 12 spot beetles in snap beans. Total bean acres that were not sprayed with insecticide where the no-spray decision was based on sweep net sampling increased from 2143 (17%) acres in 2004 to 4580 (44%) acres in 2006. In 2004, 888 pounds of carbaryl (Sevin) insecticide were applied on 9,809 acres for 12 spot beetle control. In 2006, 215 pounds of carbaryl (Sevin) were applied on 10,336 acres for 12 spot beetle control. This significant reduction in insecticide use in 2006 and the increase in grower knowledge is attributable to the American Farmland Trust sponsored risk assessment program.