Citrus thrips management programs developed for blueberries
Citrus thrips damage to blueberry foliage
What has ANR done?The UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program provided funding for a team of UC researchers and cooperators to develop a program for citrus thrip management in blueberries. The team was led by UC IPM farm advisor David Haviland and included UC Riverside entomologist Joseph Morse and UC small farms advisor Manuel Jimenez. The team discovered the pest’s seasonal biology, developed monitoring programs, and evaluated differences in varietal susceptibility to damage and chemical controls.
The group also evaluated nonchemical controls such as the use of high-pressure water and fungi that can act as parasites of insects and kill or seriously disable them. These latter techniques were investigated as a way to delay resistance to the relatively few pesticides registered for blueberries that are being used repeatedly on some fields to combat citrus thrips.
Growers are now successfully managing citrus thrips in blueberriesAs a result of UC research, blueberry producers have the basic tools they need to prevent thrips damage and crop losses, and they have begun to adopt those practices. John Ojala, an agronomist with the largest blueberry farm in the San Joaquin Valley, stated that this project has resulted in "an improvement in sustainable blueberry production for California." He estimated that, on their ranches alone, results of this project have conservatively increased the crop revenue of their company by more than $2.5 million each season.
Supporting Unit:Kern County
David Haviland, (661) 868-6215, firstname.lastname@example.org