Research and Reports

The research objectives for the TNRC are to develop effective fruit pest management strategies for Michigan's fruit industry, in concert with agriculture commodity organizations, agribusiness, MSU AgBioResearch and MSU Extension, in accordance with the land-grant philosophy of Michigan State University.

 

Fruit Pest Research

The Trevor Nichols Research Center, in cooperation with MSU tree and small fruit entomology and plant pathology faculty, design field performance trials for new and conventional pesticide chemistries to determine optimal use patterns for controlling the insect and disease pests prevalent in Michigan fruit crops. Information from these research trials serve as the primary basis for recommendations in MSU's annual Fruit Management Guide (Extension Bulletin E-0154). Extension bulletins are available for purchase through MSU Extension Bookstore or at your local extension office.

Monitoring and documenting insect and disease resistance to conventional insecticides is an ongoing effort that provides confirmation for field level reports of resistance and helps researchers develop appropriate alternatives. Studying the population dynamics of natural enemies under conventional insecticide, "soft" low-impact insecticide and non-chemical conditions is a continual interest to the station's researchers. Data from our on-going research programs are used to develop new farm-level pest management strategies for Michigan fruit growers. 

Insect pheromones are being tested in orchards as a way to disrupt the mating of key insect pests, therefore protecting crops from injury without the use of chemical insecticides. Various means of dispensing pheromone are also being studied, including the MSU micro-sprayer, traditional twist-tie dispensers, and micro-encapsulated sprayable formulations.

New techniques are being tested and developed for the delivery of crop protection materials to fruit orchards, including improvements on air-assisted ground sprayers, solid set delivering systems, chemigation, and the use of trunk injection technologies. Our objective is to develop new delivery systems that enhance crop protection, while reducing pesticide drift, minimizing risks associated with worker exposure, and limiting the negative impacts of pesticides on beneficial organisms and the environment.

Improved techniques for monitoring pest populations are being developed using natural plant volatiles and novel trapping designs. Results from this research will better equip the fruit industry's pest consultants and scouts with the precise pest information needed for making good pest management decisions.

Advancing disease control options for fruit growers are made possible through research carried out at the TNRC. Active proliferation of bacterial and fungal diseases in the fruit plantings allows plant pathologists to study and develop new control techniques for diseases that threaten Michigan fruit crops. 

 

 

Insect Biological Research

The TNRC monitors and records the annual emergence and development of over 15 of Michigan's major fruit pests, which has been an on-going project since the station's inception.

2023 Pheromone Trapline Data

Use the tabs at the bottom of the Excel workbook to navigate between pests: Trapline Data

2022 Pheromone Trapline Data

Use the tabs at the bottom of the Excel workbook to navigate between pests: Trapline Data

2021 Pheromone Trapline Data

Use the tabs at the bottom of the Excel workbook to navigate between pests: Trapline Data

2020 Pheromone Trapline Data

Use the tabs at the bottom of the Excel workbook to navigate between pests: Trapline Data

2019 Pheromone Trapline Data

Use the tabs at the bottom of the Excel workbook to navigate between pests: Trapline Data

2018 Pheromone Trapline Data

Use the tabs at the bottom of the Excel workbook to navigate between pests: Trapline Data

2017 Pheromone Trapline Data

Use the tabs at the bottom of the Excel workbook to navigate between pests: Trapline Data

2016 Pheromone Trapline Data

Use the tabs at the bottom of the Excel workbook to navigate between pests: Trapline Data

2015 Pheromone Trapline Data

Use the tabs at the bottom of the Excel workbook to navigate between pests: Trapline Data

2014 Pheromone Trapline Data

Use the tabs at the bottom of the Excel workbook to navigate between pests: Trapline Data

2013 Pheromone Trapline Data

2012 Pheromone Trapline Data

2010 Pheromone Trapline Data

 

 

Weather Data

The Trevor Nichols Research Center weather station is funded in part by Michigan State University Extension, Michigan State University AgBio Research, and Project GREEEN. Degree day totals, daily and hourly weather reports can be found on the MSU Enviro-weather website. Additionally, Enviro-weather provides MSU weather-based pest, natural resources, and production management tools.

 

 

Growth Stages Data

The TNRC monitors and records growth stages of apples, peaches, plums, pears, cherries, grapes and blueberries.

2023 Growth Stages

Use the tabs at the bottom of the Excel workbook to navigate between crops: Growth Stages

2022 Growth Stages

Use the tabs at the bottom of the Excel workbook to navigate between crops: Growth Stages

2021 Growth Stages

Use the tabs at the bottom of the Excel workbook to navigate between crops: Growth Stages

 

 

IR-4 Project

The national IR-4 Project serves as the primary avenue that new reduced-risk pesticide chemistries can be registered with the EPA for minor-use crops like blueberries, grapes, peaches and cherries. The TNRC is one of the few GLP facilities in the state capable of conducting this work, and over the last twenty plus years has carried out a majority of the IR-4 residue field trials for Michigan fruit pesticides.

The demand for registering new pesticides through IR-4 has risen since the 1996 Food Quality Protection Act. Because of this legislation minor-use crops like blueberries, grapes, cherries, peaches, pears and apple, may be left with a significant shortfall in pest management tools for the future. The TNRC has implemented a strategic fruit-pest chemical-screening program in order to identify potential new pesticide candidates for IR-4 as quickly and efficiently as possible. The ability of the Michigan fruit industry to make this difficult transition will be significantly affected by the swiftness at which we can identify, develop and register effective pest management alternatives. 

Have a pest management problem (or solution) in mind?
Visit the IR-4 North Central Region website for more information on how to submit a request and to get in contact with the Regional Field Coordinator.