On most farms, Diabrotica beetles are only severe in certain years, a pattern for which there is yet no analysis. Therefore, for most organic farms these beetles are tolerable in most years. However, in certain seasons some help in reducing numbers may mean the survival of many crops, particularly where beetle damage to seedlings essentially destroys the crop. Example crops are beans and early season cucumbers. Sweet corn is also such a crop, although the damage only interferes with the proportion of kernels which are fertilized.
Objectives: To evaluate a wide variety of potential trap crops for use in cole crop production. To test various configurations of trap crop plantings in production fields to test the potential for reducing damage by flea beetles to crops.
From March 15 and throughout the 1997 growing season, intensive weekly sampling of herbivorous insects (mainly leafhoppers and thrips) and associated natural enemies (mainly Anagrus sp and Orius sp) have been conducted in two adjacent Chardonnay vineyard blocks of 5 acres each, North of Hopland. Both blocks are managed organically with half of the area of each block planted to summer cover crops (buckwheat and sunflower), and the other half maintained with bare ground.
To test the use of trap boards and lures based on ammonia (ammonium carbonate and household ammonia) to concentrate squash bugs in a small area for monitoring or control. Although I received funding from the OFRF for just one year, 1997, 1 actually started the experiments in my proposal in 1996 and continued with a different approach in 1997.
As a critical component to the sustainability of both transitioning and organic citrus orchards it is important to understand the impact of foliar dust deposits on the survival of insectary reared Aphytis melinus and Metaphycus helvolus used respectively for the biological control of California red scale and black scale.
Previous research (with the support of OFRF) has been done with coastal apple growers in support of pheromone-based codling moth management and organic growers have now accepted and are using this method of pest control. However, in some orchards, mating disruption and other organic methods cannot alone keep codling moth damage at a manageable level. The addition of a locally-adapted egg parasitoid released at egg-laying of the first codling moth generation could make an economic difference for local organic apple growers in terms of lowered codling moth infestation at harvest.
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.
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.
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.