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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Cover crops and related methods for enhancing agricultural diversity and conservation biocontrol: Successful case studies)

Author
item Tillman, Patricia - Glynn
item Smith, Hugh
item Holland, John

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/11/2011
Publication Date: 6/5/2012
Citation: Tillman, P.G., Smith, H., Holland, J. 2012. Cover crops and related methods for enhancing agricultural diversity and conservation biocontrol: Successful case studies. In Biodiversity and Insects Pests: Key Issues for Sustainable Management, eds. G.M. Gurr, S.D. Wratten, W.E. Snyder, and D.M.Y. Read. p. 309-327. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., Chichester, UF. (Invited Peer-Reviewed Book Chapter).

Interpretive Summary: Insect pests continue to cause severe crop losses despite the widespread use of pesticides which have potential risks including resistance, residues, off-target impact, and human health. This book chapter explores was in which biodiversity can be used for sustainable insect pest management in agricultural cropping systems. The three important examples of methods covered are winter cover cropping to enhance natural enemies of heliothines in subsequent cotton in Georgia, provision of a nectar plant, alyssum, to enhance the pest-suppression activity of insect predators of aphids in organically-grown lettuce in California, and establishment of beetle banks within cereal fields to conserve natural enemies. The chapter provides information on the stage that the work has reached and levels of success achieved. Data on aspects like area under treatment, levels of pest suppression, and economic impact also are provided.

Technical Abstract: The book explores ways in which biodiversity can be harnessed to achieve sustainable insect pest management. Vegetation diversification at scales ranging from the individual field to the landscape can lead to direct reductions in pest numbers. This chapter will be one of several in the penultimate section of the book that presents examples of real world use of biodiversity for insect pest management in agricultural cropping systems. The three important examples of methods covered are winter cover cropping to enhance natural enemies of heliothines in subsequent cotton in Georgia, provision of a nectar plant, alyssum, to enhance the pest-suppression activity of syrphids, predators of aphids, in organically-grown lettuce in California, and establishment of beetle banks within cereal fields to conserve natural enemies. The chapter provides information on the stage that the work has reached and levels of success achieved. Data on aspects like area under treatment, levels of pest suppression, and economic impact also are provided.

Last Modified: 8/24/2016
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