pest management Tag

An analysis by North Carolina State University researchers predicts that the invasive spotted lanternfly could reach the wine-growing region of California in five years, and could be established throughout much of the United States by 2037 if all efforts to control it are stopped. The invasive insect can damage or destroy commercially valuable crops such as grapes, apples, almonds, walnuts, cherries, hops, and peaches, as well as certain trees. It kills plants by directly feeding on them, and can also damage them by leaving behind a residue known as "honeydew" that helps mold grow. Both Washington and California have been...

Related ATTRA publication: Beneficial and Pest Birds: Vertebrate IPM Tip Sheet A Washington State University study published in the journal Computer and Electronics in Agriculture showed the potential for automated drones to scare away pest birds that damage fruit crops. Over several years, the research team developed a camera system to detect birds in a field and customized very small drones that can be deployed to scare birds with their whirring noise. This study followed work that showed that drones flown manually could scare away pest birds to reduce crop losses. "Growers don't really have a good tool they can rely on...

As I walked through the high tunnels in mid-July 2020, a frustration set in that it may not be possible to grow greenhouse cucumbers without spraying them. In my previous role as Farm Director at Hip Peas Farm, a peri-urban microfarm in Hooksett, New Hampshire, we had a demand for greenhouse cucumbers. These pests presented a huge problem for us, as we were attempting to be a completely spray-free operation.
Dan Birnstihl, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist...

A study led by Penn State researchers showed that cover crops can be more effective at reducing pest density and crop damage than insecticide applications. The research indicated that using biological controls such as encouraging pests' natural enemies through cover crop planting and not using broad-spectrum insecticides was the most effective pest management strategy. "We hypothesized that the increased early-season vegetative cover provided by winter- or spring-sown cover crops would benefit predator populations and increase their biological control potential," explained study lead author Elizabeth Rowen. The researchers found that where broad-spectrum insecticides were used, beneficial insect populations were decreased, yields...

Related ATTRA resources: Fruits and Nuts USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) researchers created a new tool, called Pathogen and Tree Fruit Health Map (PATHMAP), that will connect growers in different states and allow them to share important data regarding tree fruit diseases, disorders, and insect pests. This online interactive tool will enable growers to modify and adjust their pathogen and pest-control programs based on real-time data, provide quick access to time-sensitive data, give access to experts in the field, provide access to previous years' observations, and track current diseases, disorders, and pests....

Researchers with Washington State University have confirmed discovery in the United States of a parasitoid wasp that is the natural enemy of the fruit-damaging spotted-wing drosophila (SWD) fly. The wasp, Ganaspis brasiliensis, is native to South Korea and is a host-specific parasite of spotted-wing drosophila larvae. The Ganaspis parasitoids were recently approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to be reared and distributed around the United States as a biocontrol, but before that could happen, the species apparently made its way into Washington on its own. This means that distribution of the species around...

Related ATTRA Publication: Soil Solarization and Biosolarization – Tipsheet A professor at Clemson University will lead research funded by USDA NIFA to explore waste carbon sources for use in Anaerobic Soil Disinfestation (ASD). During this study, researchers will explore developing, improving, and evaluating systems-based integrated management programs to address diseases, nematodes, weeds, and insect pest-related problems for organically grown crops. On-farm carbon waste and cover crops will be tested as carbon sources. ASD involves applying organic matter (carbon source) to soil, followed by irrigation, to create an environment toxic to diseases, nematodes, weeds, and insect pests. ...

Related ATTRA Webinar: Lessons from the Hemp Field The Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides has released two short videos featuring organic producers in Oregon who raise hemp, talking about their approaches to pest management. The videos feature small-scale producer True Roots Organics in Nyssa, Oregon, and mid-scale producer Rainshadow Organics in Central Oregon, hemp growers taking preventative approaches through holistic farm management. ...

Related ATTRA Publication: Companion Planting & Botanical Pesticides: Concepts & Resources Extension specialists and vegetable growers from Florida and Alabama evaluated pest control practices for cucurbits in a multi-year project funded by Southern SARE. The research team explored the best ways to implement pest-control tactics like row covers, companion planting, adding beneficial bacteria to the soil, and releasing predator insects. They found that row covers, though effective, were not always economical. Opening the row covers to encourage natural pollination helped reduce costs of introducing pollinators. The research also found that companion planting could help control aphids. The team shared the results of...

Powdery mildew has plagued vineyards since time immemorial. If temperatures reach between 70 and 85 degrees, chances are, powdery mildew has woken up from its slumber and is ready to infect your grapes. When left unchecked, this fungus can reduce vine growth, sabotage yields, and reduce fruit quality. There are all sorts of practices in our integrated pest-management toolbox that we can use to control powdery mildew. Prevention is always number one, but there are plenty of mitigation strategies we can employ as well. Here are some good examples:
By Katherine Favor, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist ...