Outcome of Enhancing biological control of insect pests using flowering intercrops in wine grape ecosystems

California organic vineyard growers need to find cost-effective biological control options for managing important arthropod pests. This study focused on intercropping five different flowering plant species to help with leafhopper and vine mealy bug abundance. Though wet conditions in Spring 2008 and 2009 caused low pest densities overall, there were still significant differences between control and treatment plots. There was a significant increase in abundance and diversity of arthropod natural enemies found in plots both years, and leafhopper nympth densities were lower than the control plots in 2009. Initial results suggest that intercropping is a successful pest management tool, but research and data are continuously being collected and analyzed.

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