MSU researchers receive USDA grant to evaluate blueberry pest management strategies

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A team of researchers from Michigan State University has received a $325,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to examine the effectiveness and cost of new blueberry pest management approaches.

The project is led by Rufus Isaacs, a professor in the Department of Entomology, and also includes Marisol Quintanilla, an assistant professor in the Department of Entomology; Matthew Gammans, an assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics; and MSU Extension educator Carlos Garcia-Salazar.

Over the past several years, Isaacs said researchers have gained a better understanding of how to control primary insect pests affecting blueberry farms, including gall wasp and spotted wing drosophila.

These new techniques involve host-plant resistance, biological control, regular field sampling and more targeted pesticide applications, each aimed at helping growers save money and improve environmental and worker safety while effectively mitigating pest damage.

To read more, visit the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources website.