Flowering Plants in Organic Strawberry Fields to Enhance Natural Enemies and Pollinators and Improve Pest Control and Fruit Quality

Dr. Justin M. Renkema, University of Florida

The objective of this research project is to manage for both predators and pollinators in Florida organic strawberries through intentional use of flowering plants. Dr. Renkema will target conservation of minute pirate bug, Orius spp., in the hope of showing how flowering plants support high levels of Orius spp. and pollinators, resulting in lower thrips populations and crop damage and improved crop pollination and fruit quality.

Impact: Improved crop pollination and fruit quality in Florida organic strawberries.

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Photo credit: Photo of pirate bug feeding on white fly nimphs by Jack Dykinga [Public domain]