Poster Title

Beneficial Insects in Blackberries Treated with Biologically Based Insecticides and Bordered by Native Perennial Plants and Pasture

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Sophomore

Institution

Kentucky State University

KY House District #

Rep. Rick Rand

KY Senate District #

Sen. Paul Hornback

Department

College of Agriculture, Food Science and Sustainable Systems

Abstract

Conservation biological control is a potential way to reduce insect pest populations by providing habitat for insect predators and parasitoids, also known as beneficial insects. Planting non-crop plants such as native perennial flowering plants and grasses near crops can enhance the populations of beneficial insects, as they provide microhabitat, nectar, and pollen. The spotted wing Drosophila (SWD), Drosophila suzukii, is a new pest of soft-skinned fruit and tree fruit, including raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries in Kentucky. Female SWDs insert eggs into the ripening and ripe fruit. Once the larvae hatch, they eat the fruit from the inside. The larvae damage the fruit and consumers are intolerant of larvae in their berries. The objective of this research was to identify and quantify beneficial insects from blackberry plots and the borders of native perennial plants or pasture. Biologically based insecticide treatments used were Grandevo® and Entrust® which are listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute as treatments for organically grown blackberries. This research was conducted at Kentucky State University's Harold R. Benson Research and Demonstration Farm in Franklin County, Kentucky. Treatments consisted of Grandevo® foliar spray, soil spray, foliar and soil spray, Entrust® foliar spray and a water foliar spray, which served as the control. Grandevo® and Entrust® were sprayed every other week, for a total of three times. Five sticky traps were placed in each border row, pasture row and blackberry treatment to monitor the number of beneficial insects in each plot. The traps were collected and reset weekly. The sticky traps were then brought back to the laboratory for identification and enumeration. Beneficial insects captured included lady beetles, minute pirate bugs, big-eyed bugs, syrphid flies and lacewings. There were a greater number of minute pirate bugs in the blackberries bordered by native perennial plants than blackberries bordered by pasture.

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Beneficial Insects in Blackberries Treated with Biologically Based Insecticides and Bordered by Native Perennial Plants and Pasture

Conservation biological control is a potential way to reduce insect pest populations by providing habitat for insect predators and parasitoids, also known as beneficial insects. Planting non-crop plants such as native perennial flowering plants and grasses near crops can enhance the populations of beneficial insects, as they provide microhabitat, nectar, and pollen. The spotted wing Drosophila (SWD), Drosophila suzukii, is a new pest of soft-skinned fruit and tree fruit, including raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries in Kentucky. Female SWDs insert eggs into the ripening and ripe fruit. Once the larvae hatch, they eat the fruit from the inside. The larvae damage the fruit and consumers are intolerant of larvae in their berries. The objective of this research was to identify and quantify beneficial insects from blackberry plots and the borders of native perennial plants or pasture. Biologically based insecticide treatments used were Grandevo® and Entrust® which are listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute as treatments for organically grown blackberries. This research was conducted at Kentucky State University's Harold R. Benson Research and Demonstration Farm in Franklin County, Kentucky. Treatments consisted of Grandevo® foliar spray, soil spray, foliar and soil spray, Entrust® foliar spray and a water foliar spray, which served as the control. Grandevo® and Entrust® were sprayed every other week, for a total of three times. Five sticky traps were placed in each border row, pasture row and blackberry treatment to monitor the number of beneficial insects in each plot. The traps were collected and reset weekly. The sticky traps were then brought back to the laboratory for identification and enumeration. Beneficial insects captured included lady beetles, minute pirate bugs, big-eyed bugs, syrphid flies and lacewings. There were a greater number of minute pirate bugs in the blackberries bordered by native perennial plants than blackberries bordered by pasture.