Location: Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research2013 Annual Report
1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
To conduct applied research on pest management of pests in horticultural and row crop systems that are of mutual interest between ARS, Alabama A&M Univ. and Florida A&M Univ. (FAMU) scientists. To build human capacity through research training and experimential learning of students from Alabama A&M Univ. and FAMU. To exchange scientific information between scientists, faculty and students at Alabama A&M Univ., FAMU and USDA through visits, seminars, workshops and outreach activities.
1b. Approach (from AD-416):
We will evaluate alternative management strategies such as trap cropping, host plant resistance, and biocontrol in horticultural and row crop systems such as canola. Greenhouse and large scale on-farm field experiments will be conducted to determine the effect of these integrated management tactics to control invasive pests such as whiteflies, tarnished plant bug, aphids and others, while attracting pollinators and beneficial natural enemies such as green lacewings, ladybeetles and parasites. Scientific information will be exchanged between scientists, students and faculty at USDA, Alabama A&M Univ. and FAMU through seminars, workshops and outreach activities. Results of the studies will be presented to stakeholders such as resource-limited and small farm producers, and sustainable growers in Alabama, Florida and the southeast during field days, training workshops and seminar presentations.
3. Progress Report:
This research relates directly to Objective 2. Develop “push – pull” strategies for whitefly management that integrate plant-based pest repellents and natural enemy attractants. Experimental field plots of canola were set up at a commercial farm in Alabama. Surveys were conducted throughout the season for insect pests such as lygus bugs and their beneficials. Three different sites were monitored to test different varieties that will thrive in the southeastern region of the US. Data collection, processing and analysis are on-going. A field day was organized for growers to demonstrate best practices in canola production, use of integrated pest management and biological control, and current research on the variety trials.