Evaluation of Pest Management Tactics for Organic Apple Production

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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.

Objectives of this research:

  1. To evaluate the efficacy of individual tactics, including multi-species pheromone disruption, kaolin particle film applications, a Bacillus thuringiensis plus horticultural mineral oil spray 2 program, and whole-tree exclusion cages, in preventing insect pest damage to organically produced apples.
  2. To compare the effect of different whole-tree exclusion cage materials on fruit color of 'Taylor Rome' apples.
A. Agnello
H. Reissig
D. Combs
Cornell University