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Potential and Limits of Pesticide Free Apple Growing by a Self-Regulating Orchard Set-Up: Project Presentation and First Experiences

Weibel, F.P.; Daniel, C.; Hammelehle, A.; Pfiffner, L. and Wyss, E. (2010) Potential and Limits of Pesticide Free Apple Growing by a Self-Regulating Orchard Set-Up: Project Presentation and First Experiences. In: Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Organic Fruit Growing from February 22nd to February 24th. Fördergemeinschaft Oekologischer Obstbau e.V. (FOEKO), Weinsberg, pp. 292-296.

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Online at: http://www.ecofruit.net/proceedings-2010.html

Summary

Different research groups have already proven that flowering plants in orchards can enhance beneficial arthropods. Even within the tree rows different beneficial can be supported by selected plant species. In most experimental work done to stabilize the apple production system only single interaction effects were tested. However until now, no research group has quantified the additive effects of multiple measures on systembiodiversity and on the production economy.
Our experiment combines all known measures of indirect pest and disease control measures in a near-to practical production model orchard without the use of any pesticide (not even organic ones). The orchard is split in 4 blocks: in two of them bio-control measures e.g. application of Granulosis Virus against codling moth (C. Pomonella) are applied; in the other two blocks no bio-control is applied. Standard commercial organic and integrated orchards with the disease-susceptible cultivar Gala in the vicinity of the model orchard are assessed by the same methods and serve as reference.
Our intermediate results reveal that the self-regulating orchard developed already in the 2nd and 3rd leaf a clearly higher flora and fauna biodiversity compared to the reference orchards. The same happened in relation to the specific fruit beneficial e.g. the populations of aphid predators. In the self-regulating orchard they were capable to keep the aphid damages – in particular of the powdery apple aphid (D. plantaginea) - on trees and fruits under a commercially relevant level although the initial abundance of aphid colonies in spring was by far over the common threshold value. It is planned to continue the experiment until 2016.


EPrint Type:Book chapter
Keywords:sustainable, apple, production, biodiversity, self-regulation, Anbautechnik Pflanzenbau, Bioobstbau, SFS
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Production systems > Fruit and berries
Research affiliation: Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Crop Production > Fruit Production
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Sustainability > Biodiversity
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Entomolgy
ISSN:978-3-00-030214-5
ISBN:978-3-00-030214-5
Related Links:http://www.ecofruit.net/2010/44_RP_F_P_Weibel_C_Daniel_A_Hammelehle_et_al_S292bis296.pdf, http://www.fibl.org/de/schweiz/forschung/anbautechnik-pflanzenbau.html
Deposited By: Weibel, Franco
ID Code:17965
Deposited On:16 Nov 2010 22:23
Last Modified:16 Nov 2010 22:23
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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