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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Southern Insect Management Research » Research » Research Project #437915

Research Project: Integrated Pest Management and Alternate Farming Approach to Improve Sweetpotato Production in Smallholder Farms in Mississippi

Location: Southern Insect Management Research

Project Number: 6066-22000-090-006-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Apr 1, 2020
End Date: Mar 31, 2025

1. To evaluate insect population monitoring methods in sweetpotatoes. Sub-objective 1B. Develop new approaches for the control of insect pests of sweet potato. 2. To evaluate new organic sweetpotato varieties for local adaptation. Sub-objective 2A. Determine the impact of current insect management strategies in corn, cotton, sweet potatoes, and soybean on populations of pollinators and beneficial insects. 3. To compare efficacy of biopesticides against insect pests of sweetpotatoes. 4. To assess the effect of different insect pests damage to sweetpotato. 5. To conduct pest management training workshops and produce educational material for local farmers and other clientele.

1. Sweetpotato research plots will be established at Alcorn State University Research/Extension and Demonstration Farm, in Mound Bayou, Mississippi. Insect traps of different colors will be compared with ultraviolet light traps and sweep net method for effectiveness in sampling click beetles. Wireworm larvae will be monitored by using soil traps baited with corn, wheat and oats. Insect sampling will also be conducted at private farms. 2. Certified organic sweetpotato varieties will be tested for local adaptation especially for their yield and susceptibility or resistance to root damage by insects. 3. Different new and commercial biopesticides will be evaluated for their efficacy against wireworms and other insect pests of sweetpotatoes. 4. Sweetpotato roots collected from research and other plots will be screened for specific insect pest damage. 5. Research findings will be published in scientific journals. Insect Pest Management training workshops will be offered during field days. Educational material based on research outcome will be prepared and distributed to farmers and other clientele.