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LEDs for Managing Pest Insects in Greenhouses Phase II

Award Information

Agency:
Department of Agriculture
Branch:
N/A
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2011 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
2011-02290
Solicitation Year:
2011
Solicitation Topic Code:
8.13
Solicitation Number:
USDA-NIFA-SBIR-00339
Small Business Information
Orbital Technologies Corporation (ORBITE
Space Center, 1212 Fourier Drive Madison, WI 53717-
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
 
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2011
Title: LEDs for Managing Pest Insects in Greenhouses Phase II
Agency: USDA
Contract: 2011-02290
Award Amount: $460,000.00
 

Abstract:

Plant-eating insect pests cause significant economic loss in commercial greenhouse growing operations, sometimes amounting to tens of thousands of dollars per hectare. Insects as a vector of plant pathogens also rank very high on the problem list for greenhouse/hothouse growers. Efficiently managing pests requires an array of complementary methods including traps and other physical methods, biological controls, and plant culture management to prevent economic losses and reduce the use of pesticides. Although host utilization by insects is broadly dictated by factors such as host species, season, plant nutrition, and water status, many insects that are significant economic pests in greenhouses, including thrips, aphids, and whiteflies use vision as a primary cue to orient to their hosts. Orbital Technology Corporation has devised a strategy to enhance or disrupt these visual cues. Modification of visual cues can be used in two ways to protect crop plants, either as a mechanism to attract insects to traps or "decoy" plants, or to repel insects by interrupting the sequence that begins with their orientation to the plant from a distance and ends with establishment on the plant. Modification of insect visual cue recognition can be used as a new tool in a grower's IPM program. The objectives of the proposed project is to identify visual cue modifiers that: (1) reduce predation of protected agriculture crops; (2) increase attraction to decoy crops; (3) enhance the attraction to physical traps (i.e., sticky cards); or (4) any combination of the above, while not disrupting beneficial insects or plant growth. If these methods can be configured to help reduce insect damage and insect-related vectored diseases in greenhouses, these systems may become an important component of the grower's IPM program, and could help to reduce the annual per hectare costs of greenhouse pest control.

Principal Investigator:

Robert C. Morrow
Senior Scientist
608-229-2728
morrowr@orbitec.com

Business Contact:

Thomas M. Crabb
President
608-827-5000
crabbt@orbitec.com
Small Business Information at Submission:

ORBITAL TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION
Space Center, 1212 Fourier Drive Madison, WI -

EIN/Tax ID: 391628664
DUNS: N/A
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No