Research

Evaluation of the Efficacy of Predatory Mites in Controlling Pests of Cultivated Mushrooms in Organic Mushroom Houses

The following species are the most common predatory mites in Polish mushroom houses, in which Agaricus bisporus is cultivated: Arctoseius semiscissus, A. cetratus, Dendrolaelaps fallax (Kropczyfiska-Linkiewicz 1984), and Parasitus sp. (Lewandowski, unpubl.). Species composition of mite predators of mushroom houses with oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) is not known yet. Predatory mites are obviously of the most interest in mushroom pest control in the organic mushroom houses.

Bat Houses for Integrated Pest Management-- Benefits for Bats and Organic Farmers: Phase I

Bats are helpful to farmers, as they consume large quantities of insect pests, but many bat species are declining due to loss of roost sites. Farmers can help bats by providing new roosts in the form of bat houses while at the same time benefiting from batsí pest reduction services. However, as much of the evidence for batsí roles in insect biocontrol is anecdotal, further studies are needed to better document batsí contributions to agriculture.

Conserving and restoring pollination services in organic farms of Yolo and Solano Counties, Northern California

Native bee pollinators link natural habitats with agricultural areas. Native bee populations may rely on natural habitats to provide forage and nesting resources during part of the year, and agricultural areas the rest of the year. Native bee pollinators may provide pollination services in both areas, and may in turn depend on both. Thus problems in one area could affect the other.

Biological control of Delia sp. in cole crops with rove beetles, Aleochara sp. Part1)

The consumer demand for organic produce is increasing. In order for growers to be able to meet this demand, effective non-chemical tools need to be available for pest management. In BC in particular there is an increase in the production of organic cole crops, hence an urgent need to develop organic integrated pest management (IPM) systems that emphasize biological, cultural and other non-chemical methods (for insect and disease management).

Biological control of Delia sp. in cole crops with rove beetles, Aleochara sp. (Part 2)

The objective of this study was to examine the use of rove beetles, Aleochara spp., for the biological control of root maggots, Delia spp. in organic cole crops. We were interested in manipulating Aleochara numbers by either conservation strategies or by augmentative releases of mass-reared Aleochara bilineata. 

Impact of Disease Suppressive Composts on Organic Vegetable Quality Composition and Yield

The goal of this research was to initiate studies on compost effects on severity of common soil borne diseases and to characterize changes plant growth due to improved nutrient availability and soil microbial activity with compost application in organic production systems. 

Project Objectives

-Analyze several animal manure-based, organic-approved compost products for suppression of important soil-borne pathogens of vegetable crops in the Northeast

-Determine applicability of a farmer-based test kit for assessment of compost maturity to predict suppressiveness

A comparison of antibiotic susceptibility patterns for Staphylococcus aureus in organic and conventional dairy herds

Mastitis is considered to be the most costly disease affecting the dairy industry with annual losses in the United States exceeding $2 billion (Philpot, 1984). Losses stem from milk discard, drug costs, veterinary care, increased labor, and premature- culling. Staphylococcus aureus is one of the most important pathogens causing intramammary infections in dairy cattle (Gonzalez et al.,1988) and continues to be one of the major causes of mastitis in dairy herds worldwide (Barkema et al. 1998, Gonzalez et al. 1988, Nickerson et al. 1999, Osteras et al. 1999, Sol et al.

Evaluation of Alternative Cultivators for Vegetable Production

The brush hoe cultivator (Bartchi Fobro Co., Switzerland) was evaluated for weed control cool-season vegetables in the Salinas Valley. The brush hoe was compared with conventional vegetable cultivators in seven on-farm trials. The brush hoe cultivated closer to the seed row than the conventional cultivators used by the growers. It left uncultivated strips 2 7/8 inch wide while conventional cultivators generally left uncultivated strips four inches wide. The brush hoe provided comparable or improved weed control over conventional cultivation.