Submitted to: Proceedings of the National Organic Tree Fruit Symposium
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 21, 2001
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Tree fruit production meeting the USDA Organic Certification requirements is limited by the lack of effective insect and disease control tools. Particle film technology is based on inert kaolin minerals that alter insect behavior rather than kill them and was developed as an alternative to synthetic insecticides. Surround WP, has been listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute for use in organic fruit production. Surround WP has demonstrated control and/or suppression of direct and secondary insect pests in tree fruit production. Some diseases are suppressed by the use of Surround WP but the primary diseases such as apple scab and powdery mildew are not effectively suppressed. We tested the addition of lime-sulfur and wettable sulfur minerals to Surround WP in an attempt to control diseases of apple. Apple scab, powdery mildew and summer diseases on fruit were controlled to levels equivalent to those provided by commercial fungicides. Insect control was significantly increased by the addition of the sulfur minerals and corking was reduced by both Surround WP and Surround WP + S minerals. In horticultural studies, pesticides were over-sprayed to eliminate potential disease and insect damage differences. The season-long application of Surround WP reduced fruit cracking in 'Stayman' apples compared to untreated trees. Whole-canopy photosynthesis of 'Empire' apple receiving season-long application of Surround WP was greater than whole canopy photosynthesis of untreated trees. The increased whole-canopy photosynthesis resulted in larger fruit for specific crop loads. In summary, particle film technology offers both the organic and the conventional grower a new tool to reduce synthetic pesticide usage without jeopardizing fruit quality and yield.