With funding from the Western Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Center, the University of Hawaii's Alyssa Cho showed that pruning the canopy in macadamia orchards reduces populations of a key pest, felted coccid, by half. Not only that, pruning increased beneficial predatory beetles by 60-70 percent. Yields in pruned plots were not affected and nut quality was higher. Plant diversity and mass in the pruned plots suggests that an increase in habitat for these beneficial insects plays an important role in the results. Additionally, the project trained five students and two post-docs and produced one peer-reviewed paper.
NIFA is currently accepting applications for the Crop Protection and Pest Management Program.
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