Augmentative biological control of the coffee berry borer

Project: Research project

Description

The primary purpose of this agreement is to support studies on the biology and management of the coffee berry borer (CBB) using known and newly collected natural enemies such as parasitoids and pathogens from around the world. Both Classical and Augmentation Biological Control are to be the primary focus of this body of work.

Coffee berry borer has spread around the world to new coffee production areas, including Hawaii and Puerto Rico without the insect natural enemies that normally would help limit its population growth. The impact of CBB on coffee production in Puerto Rico and Hawaii has been devastating. However, the experience by large commercial producers in Brazil and other regions as well as ongoing pilot programs in Hawaii suggest that large-scale integrated measures are likely to enable production sustainability. The experience from Brazil and Colombia where the pest is widely present, shows that a carefully designed systems approach using integrated measures allows for successful commercial production in spite of the pest. However, poorly managed fields are still being severely damaged by CBB. Thus, coffee production on all of the Hawaiian Islands and across Puerto Rico are threatened by this exotic and invasive pest.

Integrated programs are making headway using existing technologies but clearly there is a need for new innovation and better systematic approach using integrated means of control. Biological control is a critical IPM component in many coffee production areas but has not been used in Hawaii in Puerto Rico. This project focuses on the implementation of classical and augmentative biological control in Hawaii and Puerto Rico to help control CBB populations and prevent further spread. The goal is to make augmentative or inundative biological control releases in CBB infested coffee production areas, and preventative releases in protective zones where the pest is not established but is expected to enter. The focus will be on three species of parasitoids that have been successfully reared in the laboratory and are widely used in augmentation programs in other countries. Cooperators will also conduct exploration for new biological control agents in Africa where additional natural enemies are known to exist. Other cooperators will evaluate field effectiveness of biocontrol in target areas. The APHIS S&T Phoenix lab and ASU personnel will focus on developing mass production techniques to be used in supplying large quantities of natural enemies on demand at times when release will be most useful. Thus this project dovetails with an area-wide CBB pest management project currently underway and with developing work by cooperators.
StatusActive
Effective start/end date6/1/195/31/20

Funding

  • US Department of Agriculture (USDA): $10,000.00