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Overview of UF, IFAS Pesticide Research Programs

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1 Overview of UF, IFAS Pesticide Research Programs
Norm Leppla1, Joan Dusky2 & Jennifer Gillett1 2Office of the Dean for Extension & Director Florida Cooperative Extension Service University of Florida, IFAS 1University of Florida, IFAS, IPM Florida Examples of pesticide development and management, not a complete list. Examples from Annual Research Reports for the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station on line at UF, IFAS Extension Deans work closely with the research Deans, so I am presenting this introduction as Associate Dean for Extension.

2 Areas of Activity for UF, IFAS Pesticide Research
Ornamentals and Turf Vegetables Citrus Production Deciduous and Small Fruits Water Sheds and River Basins Medical and Veterinary Pasture and Forage Crops People and Communities UF, IFAS research on pesticides can be described within 8 Areas of Activity. This is a mixture of commodities and environments, rather than the more traditional division into pest categories, e.g., weeds, insects, diseases. Areas of Activity are used for our UF, IFAS IPM program that includes pesticide development and management.

3 Ornamentals and Turf Scouting and application technology for ornamental plants Landscape pest management (mole crickets, imported fire ants & chinch bugs) Research on new pesticides (herbicides, fungicides & nematicides) Orchid pest management (mites & insects) UF, IFAS has a long and successful history of conducting research on new insecticide and fungicide formulations for the ornamental plant industry. Pesticide use is based on scouting and accurate identification of pests. This work is accomplished primarily at the Mid-Florida Research and Education Center (Apopka) and Tropical Research and Education Center (Homestead). New insecticides are continuously being tested for controlling mole crickets, imported fire ants, chinch bugs and other landscape pests. Additional research is conducted statewide on herbicides, fungicides and nematicides. In Gainesville and at Pine Acres (Citra), Doctor of Plant Medicine Students conduct many of these “clinical trials.” An interesting example of pesticide research is ongoing at TREC and Gainesville on high-value orchids, it is directed at controlling mites and insects. Phytotoxicity is of particular concern when using pesticides on orchids.

4 Vegetables Tomato and pepper integrated pest management
New insecticides for corn pests Pesticide-free greenhouse vegetables Disease vector control in vegetables Alternatives to methyl bromide fumigation Organic and sustainable production UF, IFAS recently completed a “Growers IPM Guide for Florida Tomato and Pepper Production” that integrates the latest research on pesticides with other pest management practices. Growers continue to save thousands of dollars by precisely targeting pesticides to manage corn pests based on research conducted at Everglades REC (Belle Blade). A major accomplishment has been the virtual elimination of pesticides in the production of greenhouse vegetables. Often pesticide research is conducted to reduce or eliminate the negative effects of chemicals on beneficial organisms, e.g. pollinators, predators, and parasites. Centers for this research include Suwannee Valley, Gainesville and Pine Acres (Citra). Pesticide research is conducted to prevent insects, such as whiteflies and thrips, from transmitting devastating plant diseases. Development of resistance to insecticides is of particular concern to researchers at the Gulf Coast REC (Balm) and Gainesville. New soil fumigants and associated practices have been developed to replace methyl bromide for controlling nematodes in vegetable crops. UF, IFAS established the first degree program in organic agriculture for the U.S. One of the program’s priorities is to develop and teach practices to use pesticides approved for organic crops.

5 Citrus Production Vector management for disease control (brown citrus aphid & Asian citrus psyllid) Insect and disease IPM research (citrus root weevil & mites) Organic production systems Weed management Research on insecticides is directed at minimizing insect vectors and preventing the spread of citrus diseases. Citrus REC (Lake Alfred) is the center for this work. IPM systems have been developed to minimize direct damage to citrus trees by citrus root weevil and mites. Pesticide research is being conducted to control alien invasive species without disrupting IPM. Organic citrus production requires research on maximizing the effectiveness of approved, so-called biorational pesticides. Much of this research is being conducted at Pine Acres (Citra). Research on weed management in citrus aims at reducing competition with citrus trees and eliminating habitats for insect pests while preventing phytotoxicity.

6 Deciduous and Small Fruits
Timing of pesticide applications Thrips management Research is on insect behavior to time pesticide applications. This research is conducted at the Fruit & Vegetable IPM Laboratory in the Entomology and Nematology Department (Gainesville). New pesticide delivery systems are being tested in an IPM program to manage tropical fruit flies.

7 Water Sheds and River Basins
Alien invasive species prevention and control Local eradication of invasive weeds Pesticide research is constantly needed to minimize the impact of the alien invasive species entering Florida’s waterways. Herbicides are being screened to determine their effectiveness at eradicating invasive weeds from confined areas. Much of this research is led by the Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants (Gainesville).

8 Medical and Veterinary
Mosquito abatement Pesticides for the military Pesticide impact on non-target organisms (dung beetles) Pesticide research is to prevent the development of resistance through accurate monitoring and identification, and establishment of action thresholds. This is part of IPM research at the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory (Vero Beach). UF, IFAS has a major cooperative program with the USDA and the Armed Forces to develop new pesticides for use by deployed troops. This program is located at Gainesville. 3. Research is being conducted at Gainesville on the integrated use of topical and systemic pesticides with livestock to minimize their impact on non-target organisms.

9 Pasture and Forage Crops
Insect management (mole cricket, imported fire ant & armyworms) Weed management (tropical soda apple & cogongrass) Research is conducted on the use of toxicant baits for imported fire ants. Pesticides are too expensive for use in pastures to control mole crickets, so biological control options have been developed. Biopesticides have been safe and effective for controlling armyworms in vegetables, but are too expensive for use in pastures. New biologically based biopesticides have been developed and are being registered for use on weeds in pastures (Charu, Gainesville)

10 People and Communities
Pesticide drift- good neighbor policy School IPM- IPM certification Termite treatments for eradication and control Pesticides in BMPs Pesticide drift is being studied in cooperation with FDACS in Hastings to design a “Good Neighbor Policy.” A project is being organized to develop practices that eliminate pesticide drift from agricultural lands to public schools. The Florida School IPM program has almost accomplished certification for schools in Brevard and Manatee Counties. UF, IFAS is leading an effort to provide IPM Certification for all public schools in Florida that have minimal use of pesticides. Pesticides for termite control are constantly being evaluated and improved, e.g., Sentricon bait stations, building foundation treatments, etc. This pioneering research is being conducted at Ft. Lauderdale REC and Gainesville. Pesticide runoff is being studied in landscapes and other environments at Environmental Horticulture, FYN, and Agronomy (Gainesville).

11 Spotlight Innovative Research with Pest Management
Raghavan Charudattan- bioherbicides for managing pasture weeds Mike Scharf- research into low impact alternatives to conventional synthetic insecticides, with emphasis on termiticides

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