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mating disruption

Posted by John Knisley 
mating disruption
March 11, 2014 06:09PM
I have been revitalizing an orchard over the last 3 years and feel I have a good handle on the pests except Codling Moth. I currently use no sprays but rely using biological control, orchard cleanliness and graze pigs through it at key times of the year. The PC numbers and AM numbers have dropped dramatially - 3 yrs ago 1 saleable:3 non-salable to last year a 3 saleble: 1 non-saleable. I am getting good prices for the apples we are selling and would like to use the extra funds to expand the orchard further -but CM control will be vital to this being successful. We will certified organic early this spring and I dont want to cause any problems with the certification process. I would like to start using phermone disruptors rather than starting to spray for CM, but I have not found a place that sells them to Minnesota. Is there anyone in MN who has used the phermone disruptors? Are there side efffects to other insects I should consider? Lastly, where can I get the twist-tie phermone disruptors?


John Knisley
Madelia, MN

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/11/2014 10:09PM by John Knisley.
Re: mating disruption
March 15, 2014 05:58AM
I am not sure where to get the twist tie codling moth disruptors in Minnesota, specifically, but a primary source for them is the Pacific Biocontrol Corporation. Pacfic Biocontrol is a cutting edge research and production company of mating disruption technology. . . Give them a call to see if they can ship to you directly or if they can help with a local source near you.

Gopher Hill Apples
Zone 8 in California

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/18/2014 04:56AM by Michael Phillips.
Re: mating disruption
March 21, 2014 03:52PM
Two things need to be considered when contemplating the mating disruption approach. Companies must register each and every product in each and every state where they want to sell a particular product. This seems more about paying the man than yet another level beyond EPA registration for an insect control product. Where there is not a viable market ... companies often decide to forego the sales to a few to save on this cost. Great Lakes IPM does us a favor by listing the state registrations for all the mating disruption products it sells. It's always possible to contact companies directly and make the case that you want to trial a product and can't they please please register it.

The more telling issue concerns the size of the orchard where mating disruption will be employed. Typically, four acres is considered the minimum in order to effectively saturate enough area with pheromone. Mated females coming in from the edges can undo this plan if there's too few trees. That said, given the right kind of terrain, some growers report success with as little as half an acre of trees. This can involve distributing mating disruption ties out into a larger area to saturate the hedgerow/wood's edge as well. What would be really helpful to share in this thread are observations where MD works on a smaller scale and where it does not.

Lost Nation Orchard
Zone 4b in New Hampshire
Re: mating disruption
April 25, 2014 06:13AM

We've studied this for our own orchard, where we have more of an OFM problem but some CM as well..... and also found the 4 acre guideline as a minimum for ties. We're not that big yet so that's not an option for us. I have heard great things about the approach if you're that large. We'll use it when we expand.

If you need an alternative granulosis virus is an option, there is one for CM called Cyd-X and Great Lakes IPM carries a version of that, it may be another brand don't remember. Crop Production Services may be able to get it for you as well and there are offices in every state. There's always DiPel as well. Good luck....Susan
Re: mating disruption
May 16, 2014 08:50PM
We tried mating disruption using the twist ties for CM for our 5-acre orchard. The closest untended apple trees are about 600 feet away, but we are pretty much exactly downwind from them (and it is windy here). We did not see a reduction in damage using mating disruption, particularly late season damage. So we have reluctantly given up on that method and moved to a) Cyd-X and Bt in alternate years for in-season control and b) parasitic nematodes, sprayed in the fall. If the nematodes work well, we will try to get permission to spray them on those untended trees as well. Maybe with a reduction in CM populations we can try mating disruption in the future.

Bear Swamp Orchard
Zone 4b in Massachusetts
Re: mating disruption
May 28, 2014 04:43AM
I've been using various forms of mating disruption for coddling moth for over 20 years. Some of the original trials were done at my farm. One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was stick with it and the numbers will go down. I was a warrior back then and was hoping for 2-4% damage that I could live with, but was getting 8-20% those first years depending on variety. That is how we got into the vinegar, hard cider, and syrup business (another story). I tried granulosis virus and various forms of BT--but being in California (can be five generations of CM a year) I was spraying and spraying and spraying and sometimes it was 80 degrees when I was done and harvest was just around the corner. Well, those numbers did come down to 2-8% (8 on a bad year). I thiught I'd died and gone to heaven when the "puffers" came out. We were hanging 200 twist ties an acre in many big old trees--2 trips up a ladder for each tree and the labor cost was nearly as much as the units and had to do it twice a season. The puffers are about the same cost per acre and last the whole season or actually 2/3rds the cost and I can do it by myself in about 6 hours (15 acres). I seem to sense some resistance to puffers which I can't fathom (except maybe more money to be made with twisties). The puffer story is in itself a good one. The twist people said it couldn't possiby work just spraying pheromones with an aerosol cannister and letting the evening breezes spread it through the orchard could possibly work...HAH! Also I am not convinced that you have to have "bigger" acreages to have an effect.
It is too bad if your state does not allow confusion or most likely there is not enough "business" to get companies to go through the EPA process. The EPA works for us and against us at the same time. My supplier tells me there is a combo CM and OFM twist tie and puffer. I don't know if there is maybe a way to petition your ag advisors to get something approved??? Anyway the gist of this is---if can afford it (and it's available) add confusion to your mix and if the numbers start going down drop the "materials" and just do confusion. Sorry, but I don't have a PC problem in California... yet.
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