Citrus Growers Vary in Their Adoption of Biological Control (Report) by California Agriculture

Citrus Growers Vary in Their Adoption of Biological Control (Report)

By California Agriculture

  • Release Date: 2012-01-01
  • Category: Industries & Professions

Brief Description

Author(s): Kelly A. Grogan, University of Florida, Rachael E. Goodhue, UC Davis Although many university extension programs emphasize integrated pest management (IPM), it has been unevenly adopted across regions and crops, and chemical control is still the primary method in much of the United States (Smith and Kennedy 2002). Encouragingly, many California citrus growers have incorporated biological control (biocontrol) -- the use of predaceous, parasitic or pathogenic organisms -- into their IPM programs. At the peak, in 1997, about 30% of citrus growers used biological control in the San Joaquin Valley, which contains the majority of California citrus acreage (Morse et al. 2006). Little data on citrus growers' biological or cultural pest-control decisions exist. To fill this gap and help Cooperative Extension programs promote the increased use of biological control, we surveyed California citrus growers in spring 2010 regarding their pest management decisions and analyzed the extent to which they used beneficial insects to help control the major citrus pests: California red scale, citrus red mite, citrus thrips and cottony cushion scale.

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