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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Demonstrating the Feasibility of Cover Crops in Managing Corn Insect Pests of the Great Plains

Location: North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory

Project Number: 3080-21220-005-12
Project Type: General Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 01, 2013
End Date: Jun 30, 2015

Objective:
Determine how winter vegetation affects natural enemy biodiversity, its impact on pests, and the economics of crop production in the Northern Great Plains. Apply cost-benefit analysis to determine the agronomic and economic feasibility of using cover crops as a pest management tool relative to prevailing pest management approaches across multiple locations.

Approach:
Experimental sites will be established in ND, SD, NE, and KS in a RCBD comparing two treatments in four replicates. The treatments will be conventional corn preceded by winter cover crops versus Bt corn preceded by bare soil. Insects will be monitored at each site over the season using soil cores, quadrat samples, and whole plant counts. Root damage and stalk tunneling will be recorded for each plot, as will yield. And economic model will be developed that compares the relative profitability of these two pest management systems. A logic model has been created to disseminate the research results to end users.

Last Modified: 10/30/2014
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