Pecan Insect Pest Management
Georgia Pecan Insect Pest Management
The recently hired pecan entomologist has initiated efforts in Extension and research to address insect pest management problems in Georgia pecan production.
The United States produces more than 50% of the world's pecan supply. Of which, majority is produced in the state of Georgia with a farm gate value of $355 M USD in 2016, ranking as the 9th biggest agricultural commodity in the state. Being a high value crop, great attention is given to minimize losses in its production including the threats posed by arthropod pests, primarily insects and mites.
The new pecan entomologist has focused her initial efforts identifying key insect and mite pest issues impacting pecan production in Georgia to help inform her research priorities. She conducted grower surveys and met with orchard owners, agricultural county agents, fellow Extension specialists and researchers to gain better understanding of the pecan pest management issues. Based on these efforts, she found that pecan aphids, mites, ambrosia beetles and pecan weevils are among the important pest problems that growers encounter in the field. In collaboration with USDA scientists, industry partners, UGA researchers and growers, she initiated preliminary studies including conducting spray trials against pecan aphids and mites, using drones to release predatory mites, trapping surveys of ambrosia beetles, testing insecticidal netting for toxicity against pecan weevils, and investigating the effects of pecan tree hedging on pest and natural enemy populations. She has also worked with colleagues at UGA and Clemson University to add pecan to the mobile phone application, “MyIPM” which would provide a handy resource for GA pecan growers and Extension agents on arthropod pest identification and biology, and their management options.
In the coming years, she will continue her Extension and research activities and document their impacts on the grower community and pecan industry.