Trap cropping research

Trap cropping research

Washington Ag Today June 26, 2009 Organic vegetable growers are limited in their ability to fight a pest like the crucifer flea beetle, which damages Brassica crops such as broccoli. Washington State University and University of Idaho entomologists are working in Moscow and Mt. Vernon, Washington on trap crops as a management tool. That involves having a plant that attracts the flea beetle away from a cash crop like broccoli.

Joyce Parker is a WSU graduate student who is looking at various trap crops recommended by growers or by the literature.

Parker: “Bak choi, green lace collard, Pacific Gold mustard, dwarf Essex canola, and another mustard called Yellow Rocket, and we are seeing whether polycultures or monocultures of those plants work best.”

This is the first year of the research and Parker says there is a lot to look at such as the geometry of the trap crop and the behavior of the insect.

Parker says a field day is coming up near Sandpoint, Idaho.

Parker: “With Diane Green out of Greentree Naturals and we will be talking about natural pest control. I have a trap plot out there. Diane will show some of her natural control methods and a post-doc from my lab will be talking about about cut worms.”

That Pest Management Field Day day is July 19th. You can check for more information or contact Joyce Parker in WSU’s Entomology Department.

I’m Bob Hoff and that’s Washington Ag Today on the Northwest Ag Information Network.


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