Development of grower applicable Alfalfa Leafcutting Bee incubation protocols to extend interruption duration for improved pollination management that improves seed yield and bee health

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2016-33610-25370
Agency Tracking Number: 2016-00752
Amount: $98,124.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 8.12
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2016
Award Year: 2016
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2016-08-15
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2017-04-14
Small Business Information
16645 PLUM RD, Caldwell, ID, 83607-0000
DUNS: 079981199
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Venkatachalam Jaiprakash
 Chief Science Officer
 (208) 921-0902
Business Contact
 Anthony Brower
Title: Business Operations
Phone: (208) 971-4022
Research Institution
The purpose of this proposal is to improve the protocols of incubation interruption of Alfalfa Leafcutting Bees (ALBs) used in the managed pollination of alfalfa seed crop. An efficient alfalfa pollination management program coordinates bee release with bloom onset while minimizing residual pesticide hazard. Our customer feedback suggests that this approach may increase yield up to 100% for growers while contributing to better bee health and productivity.Once ALB incubation is initiated, growers have a short window to interrupt the incubation without significant bee mortality. Incorrect incubation interruption adversely affects bee longevity and vigor, as well as crop yields.Our research seeks to extrapolate lab proven research on extended incubation interruption to work for a range of lower precision incubators in the field. Our goal is to develop field applicable protocols to deliver the incubation precision and flexibility growers need to respond to changing environmental conditions and release bees in multiple batches which has been observed by agronomists to increase yield.This research will form the backbone of a decision support system through which growers will have access to real-time ALB life-cycle management tools in response to their input of changing field conditions. Through a smartphone application, they will be able to quickly ascertain the optimal duration and conditions to interrupt incubation and stage bee release. This will help growers better manage risks to bee health and crop yield.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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