- Evaluating experimental and registered
insecticides/acaricides for the control of the major pests attacking tree
fruits, and tolerance by their natural enemies.
- Describing the gene flow between resistant and susceptible tufted
apple bud moth populations in an orchard ecosystem, studying the fitness
differences between susceptible and insecticide-resistant populations.
- Continuing with long-term laboratory and orchard studies to
investigate the potential of the tufted apple bud moth and the obliquebanded
leafroller to develop resistance to various insect-growth-regulator products and
whether these two pest species are cross-resistant to the organophosphate
- Assessing the baseline susceptibility of Oriental fruit moth pest
populations from Pennsylvania to commonly used insecticides and to develop an
egg hatch model for accurate timing of control measures.
- Determining the effectiveness of various
pheromone-mating-disruption dispenser systems (i.e., hand-applied, sprayable
formulations, microsprayers, and "puffers") for disrupting the mating of various
moth pests of tree fruits.
- Management strategies are needed to minimize the development of
pesticide resistance in pests and pathogens and to promote resistance in natural
enemies of pests.
- Evaluation of multispecies pheromone blends for disrupting the
communication of various moth pests of fruits via a single-release
- Pesticides with different modes of action that are highly
effective, environmentally safe, and practical for use in commercial orchards
will be evaluated.
- Investigate the potential to use Global Positioning System (GPS) technology in site-specific pest and natural enemy sampling, fertilizing, plant spacing, and yield monitoring.
- Investigating the
vigor and production efficiency of experimental rootstocks and interstem
combinations for apples as part of the NC-140 national rootstock testing
- Effect of controlled
atmosphere storage on storage quality of Ginger Gold, Gala, Braeburn, and Fuji
apples (cooperative with USDA, Beltsville).
- The potential of new
untested apple varieties to perform in the southcentral area of Pennsylvania is
being investigated. Over 50 varieties are now planted as part of the NE-183
national apple variety testing program.
- Evaluations of new
plant growth regulators including Apogee® that can reduce the vegetative vigor
of apple and pear trees may dramatically change the way that apples are grown
and may reduce the severity of fire blight epidemics.
- Develop apple thinning
programs for the major apple varieties in the Mid-Atlantic area to overcome
alternate bearing, a major limitation in annual production.
- Major efforts will
continue in the testing of apple varieties and rootstocks that can thrive in the
Mid-Atlantic area. Both varieties and rootstocks must be able to overcome the
environmental limitations here and must be able to efficiently produce the
quality of fruit demanded by the fresh and processing industries.
- Continue research on
plant growth regulators in large orchard trials to determine effects on orchard
management and productivity.
- Refinements to the
current recommendations for thinning apples will most likely focus on
environmental and plant growth regulator factors. Less emphasis will be placed
on an optimum fruit size, and effective programs will be available to thin
apples from full bloom to the 20 mm fruit size.
- Determining the susceptibility of apple cultivars and
rootstocks to fire blight, a major bacterial disease.
- Evaluating efficacy and usefulness of bacterial antagonist,
systemic-resistant action (SRA) compounds and improved formulations of copper
compounds for management of fire blight in apple and pear orchards.
- Evaluating mode of action and residual
efficacy of new fungicides for control of major apple, pear, and stone fruit
- Determining the most feasible disease management strategies for
tree fruit, including disease-prediction models and precision in application
- Refinements in expert systems orchard management programs to improve diagnosis and management of tree fruit pests and diseases. Investigations to evaluate the potential of developing transgenic Prunus rootstocks with resistance to the tomato ringspot virus will be conducted.
Fruit disease fact sheets from Penn State Extension
Extensive Grape Plant Pathology Research by Bryan Hed.
- Evaluation of commercial and experimental nematicides for efficacy at different rates and under different conditions including the addition of soil conditioners.
- Studies of allelopathic plants in laboratory and field for their ability to suppress populations of plant-parasitic nematodes when used as a rotation or green manure crop.
- Field surveys are being conducted to evaluate the role of plant-parasitic nematodes in grapevine decline in Pennsylvania.
- Integrated tactics for sustainable nematode management are being developed, which include cultural practices, allelopathic plants, nematicides, and biological controls.
- Surveys to collect and identify potentially useful nematode biocontrol agents will be conducted in Pennsylvania orchards.
- Studies will determine the optimum environmental requirements of dagger nematodes and the potential of managing populations by altering environmental conditions.