Insect Management

Investigations into the Ecology of Microtheca ochroloma and control methods for organic farmers

Objectives The original objectives of the project were as follows: 1. To determine if beetles remain active into summer if crucifers are present under field conditions. 2. To determine if initial infestation of M. ochroloma arise from within the field from the soil subsurface or whether beetle enter the field from field edges after oversummering. 3. To determine whether intercropping crucifers protects them from YMLB by hiding them among non-host plants. 4. To determine if cutting crucifers makes them easier for the beetles to find, therefore increasing infestation. 

Integrated caterpillar control in organic sweet corn Year 1, 2, 3

The purpose of this project is to work with a group of diversified vegetable farmers in the Northeast to evaluate an integrated non-chemical strategy for managing key caterpillar pests in sweet corn. In New England, corn earworm (Helicoverpa zea) migrates annually into the region and causes serious ear damage in late-season corn. European corn borer (Ostrinia nubilalis) is a resident pest of sweet corn which also contributes to ear damage, especially in the later part of the season.

Biointensive and Organically Acceptable Pest Management Literacy Training

With funding support from OFRF, NCAT implemented a Biointensive and Organically Acceptable Pest Management Literacy Training for Hispanic organic growers and Hispanic organic growers-in-training. The objectives of this training were:

¾ Increase grower knowledge and ability to differentiate between pest and beneficial organisms.

¾ Provide the growers with information about organic pest management options, both proactive and reactive.

Integrating conservation of generalist predators and specialist parasitoids in Pacific Northwest organic vegetables

As outlined in our initial proposal our project objectives were as follows: 1) Evaluate in-field refuges for predator conservation and the control of root maggots (Delia spp.) and aphids. 2) Evaluate efficacy of floral plantings for conservation of root maggot and aphid parasitoids. 3) Transmit our findings to growers. 

Intercropping to Create Local Refugia for Natural Enemies of Arthropod Pests: Flowers and Birds in Organic Agroecosystems

Farmer surveys conducted during the first year of a multi-year research program investigating the diversity and utilization of North-central Florida farmlands by birds demonstrated a great interest by organic producers in the potential impact birds have on insect populations in their cropping systems (Jacobson at al. 2003). They expressed interest in management recommendations designed to enhance the presence and foraging activities of insectivorous birds on their farms. Therefore based upon this interest we developed the following objectives for this study:

Evaluation of Glandular-Haired, Potato Leafhopper Resistant Alfalfa for Organic Farming Systems

Objectives

The primary objective of this proposal was to determine the ability to produce organically grown alfalfa in areas with significant potato leaf hopper pressure and then to share this capability with organic growers. Specific experimental objectives were:

1. Determine if glandular-haired, PLH resistant alfalfa can be produced organically,

2. Determine if organically grown glandular-haired, PLH resistant alfalfa can reduce PLH density,

Evaluation of screened high tunnels for production of organic vegetables in Colorado

Objectives

The objectives of this study were: ƒ

To evaluate the efficacy of high tunnel structures covered with insect excluding materials to reduce insect vectored diseases in an organic production system. ƒ

To evaluate the effect of different covering materials on the tunnel growing environment (temperature, relative humidity, and radiation). ƒ

To compare costs and benefits of different tunnel covering materials as they apply to plant protection under organic production. ƒ

Prioritizing research, education and regulatory pest management needs of organic potato farmers through participatory strategic planning

USDA funding of organic farming research and outreach is disproportionate compared to the amount of U.S. certified organic land. According to Organic Farming Research Foundation’s State of the States 2nd Edition, 0.3 – 2% of U.S. farmland is certified organic, but only 0.06% of land grant research acres is certified organic. This project addressed the disparity of organic research and Organic Farming Research Foundation’s goal of obtaining a fair share of research funding for organic foods and farming.

Determining habitat requirements for natural enemies of crop pests

One of the Organic Farming Research Foundation’s stated goals is to “take a systemsmanagement (rather than an input-substitution) approach to solving production problems.” This goal is exactly in line with my research: I am studying the mechanisms of natural pest control to promote systems management rather than input-substitution solutions to pest problems. Inputsubstitution approaches to pest control use organic pesticides in place of the more common conventional chemicals, which farmers have found time and again to be ineffective.

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