Peach Pest Forecast

By Alison DeLoach

Brett Blaauw, assistant professor and Extension specialist at the University of Georgia and Clemson University, gave his peach pest forecast for the year during his presentation at the recent Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference.

Regarding San Jose scale, Blaauw expects  a tough year for growers. He said this winter has been relatively warm, creating a good environment for scale production.

In Georgia and South Carolina, mating disruption is being used for peach borer and lesser peach borer, which he predicts will cause a suppression in the number of those pests.

Blaauw does not see marmorated stink bugs to be an issue in the Southeast. However, he mentioned stink bugs can be very problematic in the mid-Atlantic and western regions, and currently growers  are starting to see high populations in those regions.

Blaauw also talked about chlorpyrifos, an insecticide that is banned but still registered. “(Chlorpyrifos) is really one of the most effective chemistries that we have for things like peach tree borer and lesser peach tree borer, and to an extent San Jose scale,” Blaauw explained. In transitioning from the usage of this insecticide to new methods, Blaauw recommended the use of mating disruption to manage peach tree borer and lesser peach tree borer. “…(Mating disruption) is highly effective,” he said.

Blaauw added that there are some other insecticides, like Ryman, which is a promising alternative for borer and scale.

Hear Blaauw’s full interview with Tacy Callies, VSCNews editor: