Georgia – SARE Southern

Last Updated on August 22, 2023 by Hannah Stevens

Sustainably Managing Pests in Pecan Orchards

According to research done by a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SSARE) Graduate Student Grant, pecan growers might be able to rely upon a host of integrated pest management tactics to better handle aphid infestations in their orchards.

Eddie Slusher, a University of Georgia graduate student, and major professor Jason Schmidt researched the impact of yellow and black aphid phenology and parasitism in pecan orchards located in Georgia to help growers manage pecan pests more sustainably.

The researchers discovered that aphids follow a pattern where they rise and crash throughout the season with peaks usually happening in May and June, then followed by another peak in September or October. Being knowledgeable of season phenology of aphids may assist growers to target their insecticide applications better.

Researchers also looked into aphid parasitism, particularly the parasitoid Aphelinus Perpallidus. They found similar trends in parasitoid population growth and declines as those observed in aphids. This suggests that parasitoid numbers fluctuate, rising and falling, with their host’s.

Furthermore, researchers found that parasitoids and aphids tend to populate greater in the lower tree canopy than in the other areas of the tree. This information could be a benefit for growers who are looking for integrated pest management strategies. The previous research has shown that the increasing height of pecan trees decreases insecticide coverage significantly. However, parasitoids still play an important role in pest management in areas of the tree canopy where insecticide control won’t work.

SARE in Georgia

Georgia SARE is facilitated by a collaboration between Fort Valley State University and the University of Georgia. Georgia SARE works in conjunction with researchers, extension faculty, producers, and community organizers to research and implement the top science-based practices in every aspect of Georgia’s agriculture system.

You can also read more about Farm Certifications – SARE Southern.

Georgia Impacts

  • $11.6 million in funding since 1988
  • 141 projects funded since 1988

You can also read about the Florida – SARE Southern and the Kentucky – SARE Southern.

Professional Development Program

In each state, agricultural educators work directly alongside farmers and ranchers to promote sustainable agriculture production and marketing. SARE state agricultural coordinators offer support in sustainable agriculture education and outreach strategies through a program called “The Professional Development Program” (PDP).

Fellows Program

The Sustainable Agriculture Fellows Program is offered by SARE and NACAA. It enhances Cooperative Extension staff’s knowledge of sustainable agriculture and gives them broad-based national exposure to unique and successful sustainable agriculture programs.

State Contacts

SARE State Coordinators play a vital role in expanding sustainable agriculture training for Extension, NRCS and other agricultural professionals. This will help producers transition to a more sustainable farming system.

Timothy Coolong

Associate Professor

University of Georgia

Email | (706) 542-2471

Mark Latimore

Extension Administrator and Director

Fort Valley State University

Email | (475) 825-6327

You can see more Farm Grants for Females elsewhere on this website.