Showing 21-40 of 61 results
Sustainably Knocking Out Pests and Increasing Fruit Production and Quality of Primocane Blackberries
SEARCY, Arkansas – Primocane blackberries, which can extend the fruiting season by months over traditional plant varieties, are changing the way farmers are growing berries. But they don’t come without their pest and production challenges, which University of Arkansas researchers are trying to solve with a naturally occurring soil mineral. Through a Southern Sustainable Agriculture […]
Georgia Farmer Exploring the Use of Compost Tea to Control Southern Stem Blight
DECATUR, Georgia – When summer temperatures rise and moisture increases in the Southeast, so does Southern stem blight – a hard-to-control fungal disease that can quickly turn your healthy, productive tomatoes, squash or peppers into wilting, decaying plants. Southern stem blight is a nightmare for small-scale vegetable producers, especially those who follow organic practices and […]
Adding Flowering Plants to Strawberry Fields to Enhance Pest Management and Biodiversity
WIMAUMA, Florida -- Over the last few years, Florida strawberry growers have been faced with declining market prices, increased global competition, and suspected and documented cases of insecticide resistance. In addition, growing concerns for overall environmental health have increased as we see trends of habitat loss and declining biodiversity, specifically of natural enemies and pollinators. […]
Innovations in Large-Scale Trap Cropping for Reducing Insect Pests
Trap cropping is a unique pest prevention system that uses insect behavior to deter pest feeding. Benefits of trap cropping not only include effective pest management, but trap crops can also increase biodiversity, conserve natural enemies and reduce wind damage to main crops.
Hiding in Plain Sight
MCMINVILLE, Tennessee – Winter cover crops, specifically a ryegrass/crimson clover mix, appear to protect susceptible deciduous trees from the flatheaded appletree borer, while also effectively managing weeds, according to results of a Tennessee State University study. The results could be useful for orchards, nurseries, urban landscapes and agroforestry producers in managing the significant economic pest. […]
Paper or Pesticides? Bagging Peaches Protects from Insects and Diseases, Increases Yields
SENECA, South Carolina – When Clemson fruit specialist Juan Carlos Melgar suggested putting a paper bag over a peach to detract insects and diseases during production, farmers laughed. But when the trials, funded by a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education grant, showed that the technique protects the fruit from devastating brown rot, marauding insects […]
University of Kentucky Resources for Small Fruit Growers
LEXINGTON, Kentucky – University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension, through a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SSARE) On-Farm Research Grant, has developed a series of outreach materials for small fruit producers to aid in disease management. “Like many diseases of small fruit, they are best managed using cultural practices, such as sanitation. Thus, we developed […]
Berries Thrive in High Tunnels, But Be Aware of Pests, According to University of Arkansas Study
FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas – A University of Arkansas study has found that using high tunnels in berry production can increase yields, extend the harvest season, and improve fruit quality compared to field production. However, care must be taken to manage pests. In the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SSARE)-funded project (LS12-250), “Extending the Market Season […]
Cover Crops Acting as Trap Crops Protect Vegetables from Pests
LIVE OAK, Florida – For farmers in central Florida, planting cover crops in strips as a trap crop alongside cash crops is proving to be a highly effective method for attracting beneficial insects and controlling pests. Farmers have been so pleased with the results that they have fully adopted the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy […]
Cover Crops Reduce Pest Numbers and Improve Cash Crop Yields
GAINESVILLE, Florida – Preliminary research from University of Florida has found that incorporating root-knot nematode-resistant cover crops in a perennial peanut rotation reduces pest numbers in the cash crop and improves yields. The results may be helpful for producers who choose top-yielding, yet susceptible, peanut cultivars, as well as resistant cultivars that historically carry a […]
Cover Crops Can Help Control Pests by Fostering Natural Enemies
TALLAHASSEE, Florida – Cover crops used as refuge crops in vegetable production can control insect pests by fostering populations of natural enemies and competitor non-virus vectoring species, based on the results of USDA-ARS research. Research entomologists Stephen Hight with the USDA-ARS Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research Unit in Florida, and Stuart Reitz with Oregon State […]
UGA Studying Biocontrol Method to Control Cucurbit Diseases
ATHENS, Georgia – Some species of naturally occurring bacteria, when applied to the flowers of watermelon plants, can reduce the spread of bacterial fruit blotch – a cucurbit disease that causes fruit rot and economic losses. The technique of applying bacteria to the stigmas of female flowers to slow the spread of bacterial fruit blotch […]
Expanding the IPM Toolbox to Fight Spotted Wing Drosophila
GAINESVILLE, Florida – University of Florida researchers are expanding the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) toolbox for blueberry growers fighting the spotted wing Drosophila (Drosophila suzukii) – a destructive pest of small fruit crops. Through a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SSARE) Graduate Student Grant (GS12-114), entomology graduate student Lindsy Iglesias, along with professor Oscar […]
High Tunnel Pest Exclusion System
Insect pests are one of the major problems in organic production systems. Organic IPM practice consists of a three-tiered approach consisting of systems-based practices, mechanical tactics, and biorational insecticides. Mechanical tactics encourage the use of physical barriers for pest exclusion. This bulletin provides preliminary research data and field observations about the success of shade cloths, or high tunnel pest exclusion (HTPE) systems, as a more permanent barrier system around the high tunnels.
High Tunnel Pest Exclusion System Part II
With the increasing demand for local foods across the Southeast, an increasing number of beginning, as well as experienced producers are producing vegetable crops in high tunnels for direct and whole sale markets. From the insect management perspective, it is extremely critical to adopt pest prevention practices; the high tunnel pest exclusion (HTPE) system is one of the best relatively-low cost pest preventive practices available to producers in the Southeast. This HTPE technology uses a variety of shade cloths for a relatively permanent pest prevention strategy. This bulletin provides information on the use of HTPE systems on the farm.
Soil Biology: Cover Crops and Disease Suppression
Cover crops provide several benefits to soil health such as improving soil structure, reducing the need for synthetic chemicals by decreasing weed biomass, increasing soil organic matter, contributing nutrients to the soil, retaining soil moisture, and decreasing soil erosion. In addition, the integration of cover crops into crop production often leads to soils that are suppressive to plant diseases (i.e. have less potential for disease development).
Whole-Farm Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Video Series
If you want to know the best ways to manage pests via integrated pest management, you can find all of the information you need in a series of video modules created by University of Florida IFAS Extension faculty. These IPM strategy modules are targeted for those looking to implement IPM strategies either on a whole-farm or whole-landscape level.
Sustainable Methods to Control Mexican Bean Beetle in Snap Beans
BLACKSBURG, Virginia – Reflective plastic mulches, such as silver (metalized) or white, significantly reduces populations of Mexican bean beetles on snap beans, while significantly increasing yields, according to the results of a Virginia Tech study. Mexican bean beetle (Epilachna varivestis Mulsant) is a serious pest of snap bean varieties, causing injury by feeding on the […]
Cover Crops Effective in Controlling Bermudagrass in Organic Production
GLENWOOD, Georgia – Bermudagrass may be popular among homeowners in the Southeast, but it is widely loathed by vegetable producers – especially those in organic production. As a turfgrass, bermudagrass is valued for its durability, vigorous growth and tolerance to extreme weather conditions. But those characteristics also make it an obnoxious weed. Spreading rapidly by […]
Physical Pest Exclusion with Shade Cloth
Alabama farmer Will Mastin describes his experience using shade cloth on a high tunnel to protect crops from some pests. Mastin's trials with shade cloth were funded by a grant from Southern SARE. Throughout his project, Mastin worked with Alabama Extension entomologist and Southern SARE state coordinator Dr. Ayanava Majumdar to improve the shade cloth technology. […]