Organic Fruit Production Needs and Pest Management Practices in the Southeastern United States


In 2001, only 14% of the certified organic acreage in the United States occurred in the 12 southeastern (SE) states. Eight of the 12 Land Grant Universities in the SE region had a total of 329 acres certified organic for use in research and extension. In 2004, client-based focus groups identified needs for organic fruit production in the SE: “go-to” personnel to increase interaction between the University and organic producers; more science-based research on soil, pest and nutrient management; information to be summarized in printed guides on organic production budgets and organic production practices; and local market development. Recently, we demonstrated that several science-based, ecologically low-risk conventional practices could be adapted for organic fruit production. Demonstration blocks in Arkansas showed that first and late season generations of codling moth (CM) and Oriental fruit moth (OFM) could be controlled with CM granulosis virus and Spinosad against CM and Spinosad and Bt against OFM when integrated with mating disruption against the mid-season generations of CM and OFM. The result was less than 1% fruit damage at harvest. Plum curculio adults disperse into the perimeter of fruit orchards in the spring. When plum curculio adults were attracted to perimeter apple trees baited with dispensers releasing volatiles of grandisoic acid (aggregation pheromone) and one or two kairomone compounds, benzaldehyde and plum essence, they caused significantly more fruit feeding damage in baited trees than adjacent unbaited trees. There is potential for using Japanese plum trees or bait trees in apples to focus plum curculio damage. A further advantage occurs with the application of a nematode soil drench to reduce plum curculio larva survival in soil under baited trees. Green June beetle adults feed on ripening fruit. Multiple yellow funnel traps baited with a lure of five-component volatile blend = TRE#8607 or 91% isopropanol were very attractive to green June beetles and may have potential for use in mass trapping this pest.


Environmental Plant Science and Natural Resources

Document Type

Conference Proceeding



Publication Date


Journal Title

Acta horticulturae