“We’re learning a lot,” Unruh says. “But it’s slow going.”
It’s what’s for dinner
Molecular analyses of what different predators are eating have run into hitches in finding a definitive process that’s not too sensitive for speedy use.
Bats also serve as natural enemies, with codling moth DNA detected in feces up to 18 hours after feeding. But many of the controls used in conventional orchards aren’t soft on birds and bats, he says.
Some growers have added plantings near their orchards that enhance bird and beneficial arthropod habitats, he says.
“We’ve made some good progress on the project,” Jones says. Lab and field research will remain the primary focus for the next two years, after which economic analysis and outreach will come to the fore. A how-to manual and scenarios to guide growers to the most cost-effective program will be integrated into WSU’s online Decision Aid System.
“We have to be able to show that it works on a commercial scale,” Mills says.
“We’re trying to leave a legacy of information that will be synthesized for various crop systems,” Jones says. “We want to have as good an online presence as possible that people can use.”