|Authors: ||R. Zoppolo, I.B. Scatoni, F. Duarte, M.V. Mujica, Z. Gabard|
|Keywords: ||pome fruits, stone fruits, mating disruption, codling moth, oriental fruit moth|
Fruit production in southern Uruguay takes place mostly in orchards with an average area of 7 ha and creates a diverse landscape due to multispecies planting.
Since the 1990s, researchers have been addressing the control of major pests in deciduous fruit production within Integrated Pest Management (IPM) guidelines.
The mating disruption (MD) method has been relatively successful against both the codling moth (Cydia pomonella - CM) and the oriental fruit moth (Grapholita molesta - OFM) at the farm level.
To improve results, an area-wide approach was initiated and, with the participation of the agricultural cooperative JUMECAL, a local plan was implemented covering up to 300 ha during the 2012 growing season.
That year, a program to cover over 2100 ha was designed.
After two more seasons of successful control, and with increasing grower participation aiming for full coverage to include all neighboring orchards, the program presently includes 3563 ha, nearly 85% of the commercial production area.
The system involves 360 growers, and almost 70 scouts that assess damage in the field, follow the insect populations through pheromone traps, and register pesticide applications.
Our results show that over 95% of the area counts less than 0.5% of the damage from lepidopteran pests (CM, OFM and two South American leaf rollers) and a reduction of insecticide use.
Many growers even obtain very good results with only one insecticide spray.
These changes bring about new balances within the fruit production system, with some secondary pests decreasing while the economic importance of others increases.
This has set new challenges for managing certain pests and developing alternative tactics to replace conventional insecticides.
Current results, changes in the program design and future projections are presented and discussed.
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