Outcome of Investigating the use of buckwheat strips to attract beneficial insects for the management of Colorado potato beetle

Cover crops have great benefits for vegetable production. Cover crops can suppress weeds, reduce erosion, act as a green manure providing nutrients, and add organic matter back to the soil. This study aimed to find if cover crops could additionally help suppress the Colorado potato beetle larvae (CPBL) on potato plants. There were significant differences between control and treatment plots, with plots where buckwheat strips were grown showing a more than 95% reduction of CPBL on the potatoes compared to those not grown beside buckwheat strips. One strip of buckwheat next to 4-5 rows of potatoes seems to be the limit for attraction of beneficial insects and the effective management of CPBL. The investigator concluded that a field planting design of a strip of buckwheat followed by 8 rows of potatoes then another strip of buckwheat may be the most suitable for providing adequate protection (assuming that predators will be attracted 4 rows out in both directions from the buckwheat strip).