Organic fruit production in the US, especially the western regions, is expanding. The increase is occurring for both economic and ecological reasons. Current market conditions dictate that organic apple growers produce large, flavorful, high quality fruit. Large, high quality fruit receive price premiums and market acceptance whereas small fruit can be difficult to sell, even at lower prices. To grow large fruit, trees must be unstressed and provided with adequate water and nutrition. Weeds can compete with fruit trees for both water and nutrients.
(1) To determine the effect of cover crop seeding rate and planting arrangement on cover crop biomass production, cover crop canopy development, and weed suppression. Seeding rates included a standard rate (1x) typical on farms in the area, and higher rates (2x, 3x). Plant arrangements included a one-way versus a grid drilling pattern. This was the objective of trials 1 to 3.
Project objectives were:
a) To determine which weed reduction system is the most economically effective by:
1) Determining total labor and material cost for each weed control system.
2) Determining effectiveness of each weed control system by recording percent weed species emergence and percent weed cover throughout the year.
3) Determining total garlic yield for each weeding system.
4) Determining garlic quality, as measured by bulb size, for each weeding system.
Strawberry growers on the Central Coast of California have long observed that the principal cosmetic pest of their crop, the western tarnished plant bug (WTPB) or lygus bug, Lygus hesperus (Knight) establishes populations in strawberry fields in mid-season in relation to the proximity and flowering status of weedy, broadleaved hosts in adjacent areas. WTPB is known to be hosted in winter and early spring by numerous wild hosts which serve as a bridge to the infestation of strawberry fields when strawberry host flowers and small green fruit become abundant.
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.
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.
The objectives of this study were:
To evaluate the efficacy of high tunnel structures covered with insect excluding materials to reduce insect vectored diseases in an organic production system.
To evaluate the effect of different covering materials on the tunnel growing environment (temperature, relative humidity, and radiation).
To compare costs and benefits of different tunnel covering materials as they apply to plant protection under organic production.
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.
Test the hypothesis that biological control of cicadellid and lepidopteran vineyard pests is enhanced through conservation of insectivorous birds via the establishment of songbird nest boxes.
Beneficial insectary planting is a form of conservation biological control that involves introducing flowering plants into agricultural and horticultural systems to increase nectar and pollen resources required by some natural enemies of insect pests (Landis et al. 2000). Many predatory and parasitic insects rely on pollen and nectar for their survival and reproductive success. Two examples of such insect groups are hoverflies (Diptera: Syrphidae) and several species of predatory and parasitic wasps (Hymenoptera).