Research

Genetic population structure of a parasitoid wasp

Parasitoid insects that use different hosts can have a subdivided population structure that corresponds to host use. A subdivided population structure may favor local adaptation of subpopulations to small-scale environmental differences and may promote their genetic divergence.

Habitat manipulation to improve biological control in apple orchards

This project will assess the impact of perennial flowering habitat plantings on biological control of several insect and mite pests of apples. This document reports our progress during 1995, the first year of this 3 to 4 year study. During 1995, plant species were chosen and the habitat plantings were established at two commercial apple orchards in Wisconsin; one orchard is certified organic and the other is managed using conventional IPM practices. To date, no insect sampling has been conducted. 

Leaf sap brix and leafhoppers in vineyards

The advantages of practicing integrated pest management (IPM) with a "Plant Positive" rather than a "Pest Negative" perspective are becoming increasingly clear. As outlined by Eliot Coleman and many other capable deep agricultural thinkers, this Plant Positive perspective allows us to approach pest outbreaks with an emphasis on their basic causation, instead of simply treating the same old symptoms.

Using living straw mulch to suppress Colorado potato beetle on potatoes

The use of straw mulch for the suppression of the Colorado potato beetle (CPB) on potatoes has been demonstrated (Zehnder and Hough-Goldstein, 1989). It was suggested that to eliminate the cost of purchasing and transporting commercial grain straw, growers could rotate potatoes with a cover crop suitable for mulch such as wheat, rye, vetch, etc.. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate the feasibility of using such a cover crop as a source of "living mulch." 

Monitoring the activity of cabbage, seed corn and onion maggots on an organic farm

Information on the basic biology of insect pests is extremely helpful in planning control strategies for insect pests. Part of the problem with the maggot complex of insects is that they are poorly understood in California conditions. In addition, it is not readily apparent to growers when the flies are active because they are nondescript and easily confused with many other types of flies that are active and in great abundance. Monitoring for their eggs is also tedious and time consuming.

Biological control of plant pathogens in raspberries using beneficial microorganisms, compost teas and nutritional management

From September of 1994 through June of 1995, with the financial assistance of OFRF, Organic Ag Advisors and Aptos Berry Farms conducted research on the biological, nutritional and cultural control of Botrytis and Powdery Mildew an Raspberries at the Aptos Berry Farm on Thompson Road in Watsonville CA The research took place in a raspberry operation that uses an integrated organic and conventional farming system, on a raspberry variety chosen because of it's history of trouble with these plant and fruit pathogens, These raspberries bear fruit in fall and spring, thus giving the opportunity

Testing Alternative Parasiticides for Organic Lamb Production

An organic lamb producer evaluated four substances that had been suggested by articles or by other producers to serve as possibly effective anthelmintics in lambs. Although the producer utilized grazing management and other measures to manage internal parasites, she found that parasite load was high in ewes during lambing and lactation, as well as in offspring, and was looking for effective worming methods to complement other management strategies.

Livestock management on organic farms: A survey of issues and farm tested solutions

The survey was undertaken to obtain information for a publication on organic livestock management. Canadian Organic Growers wanted to base the book on farmers' experience as much as possible, to make sure it addressed the issues being faced by organic producers in Canada as well as providing useful practical information for those who want to convert from a conventional to an organic livestock operation. The main purpose of the survey was to identify theconstraints to organic livestock production and the methods used successfully to overcome these problems.

Beef cattle finishing in summer/fall in a strip cropping system

In this project, we finished Texas longhorn beef cattle on the Sunshine Farm by using polywire (temporary electric fence) to break-feed crop residues and forages in a narrow strip cropping system without supplemental feed. To close the nutrient cycle between cattle and crops, the project was recommended February 1995 by the seven-member Farmer Advisory Committee for the Sunshine Farm.

On-farm nutrient budgets in organic cropping systems: A tool for soil fertility management

An assessment of the quantity of nutrients entering, leaving and remaining on a farm is the starting point for understanding nutrient cycling. When nutrient flows are documented for the entire rotation cycle, the resulting net balances can be used as a tool to help with soil management decisions and in the interpretation of soil tests.

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