The last 2 weeks have been jam packed with field work, hence the light blog updating. I will have more detailed posts on several of these activities, but here's a short run down of some of whatwe've been up to:
April 14: Tobacco transplant at the Cunningham Research Station, Kinston, NC. Monique Rivera, MS student, and Richard Reeves, PhD student, both have projects in this planting, and we will be comparing the potential of systemic insecticide applications to reduce foliar treatments in seed production. Seed production is one of few areas where tobacco budworms (Heliothis virescens) could significantly reduce yield. Dr. Clyde Sorenson has conducted convincing work suggesting that budworms do not reduce yield in leaf production under most circumstances.
April 19: We placed vector monitoring traps and sentinel blackberry plants at Kildeer Farms, near Kings Mountain, NC. This trial is part of a larger Specialty Crops Research Initiative project entitled Management of Virus Complexes in Rubus. The traps will be changed biweekly, and the plants will be changed monthly. By determining when plants are infected and when potential vectors are moving, we hope to narrow down the pool of potential vectors and target management practices.
Yellow sticky traps (Trece AM) and thrips traps in a Natchez blackberry planting.
Sentinel blackberry plant.
April 21 & 23: Blueberry maggot (Rhagoletis mendax) traps placed at 7 blueberry grower locations. The goal of this project is develop a baseline data set of blueberry maggot densities in key NC production areas and ultimately to reduce treatments needed for export to Canada. Canada currently regulates imported blueberries, but these regulations allow for reduced pesticide applications, provided R. mendax is not present. NCDA & CS certifies fruit for export and is also interested in our trap capture findings.
Also in April 23, we placed our first spotted wing drosophila (SWD) traps at the Castle Hayne Research Station's Ideal Tract. The rest of our traps (19 sites in NC, SC, and VA) are being sent to cooperators and will be placed this week.