Pesticide use, arthropod fauna and fruit damage in apple orchards in a Nordic climate

Hatteland, B.ør.A.; Andrade Moral, R.D.; Jaastad, G.; Myren, G.; Bjotveit, E.; Sekse, I.én.L.; Westrum, K.; Trandem, N.

Pest Management Science 79(12): 5292-5303


ISSN/ISBN: 1526-4998
PMID: 37605976
Accession: 090511982

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Integrated pest management (IPM) has a long history in fruit production and has become even more important with the implementation of the EU directive 2009/128/EC making IPM mandatory. In this study, we surveyed 30 apple orchards in Norway for 3 years (2016-2018) monitoring pest- and beneficial arthropods as well as evaluating fruit damage. We obtained growers' diaries of pest management and used these data to study positive and negative correlations of pesticides with the different arthropod groups and damage due to pests. IPM level had no significant effects on damage of harvested apples by arthropod pests. Furthermore, damage by arthropods was mainly caused by lepidopteran larvae, tortricids being especially important. The number of insecticide applications varied between 0 and 3 per year (mean 0.8), while acaricide applications varied between 0 and 1 per year (mean 0.06). Applications were often based on forecasts of important pest species such as the apple fruit moth (Argyresthia conjugella). Narrow-spectrum insecticides were commonly used against aphids and lepidopteran larvae, although broad-spectrum neonicotinoid (thiacloprid) insecticides were also applied. Anthocorid bugs and phytoseiid mites were the most abundant natural enemies in the studied orchards. However, we found large differences in abundance of various "beneficials" (e.g., lacewings, anthocorids, parasitic wasps) between eastern and western Norway. A low level of IPM negatively affected the abundance of spiders. Lepidoptera was found to be the most important pest group in apple orchards. Insecticide use was overall low, but number of spray applications and use of broad-spectrum insecticides varied between growers and regions. IPM level did not predict the level of fruit damage by insects nor the abundance of important pests or most beneficial groups in an apple orchard. © 2023 The Authors. Pest Management Science published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society of Chemical Industry.