Pest Control Through Soil Fertility
T. Arden Compton obtained a 2000 SARE grant to find an effective form of pest control for their production of fruits and vegetables. The goal for this project was for the Compton’s to work with Christian Agriculture Stewardship Institute (CASI) to create a method of pest control that would improve the soil fertility on their farm and reduce the amount of pests.
This SARE project is an extension off of a 2000 Missouri Demonstration Award that was determining the outcome of using an organic fertilizer. This project examined the amount of pests in tomato and bean crops using different forms of pest control that included organic fertilizer, a conventional chemical fertilization system and a section without any application of fertilizers.
Throughout the four years of this project they have found a variety of results in the yields of these crops. In the first year of the tomato crop the fertility treatments produced more than the organic treatments. After the fourth year, things seemed to turn around and in 2003 the organic treatments outperformed the conventional treatment. They found the highest yield in treatment number four which was organic fertility with pesticide applications.
While the study of beans did not clearly show one treatment to be more valuable than the other, the success of the tomato crop illustrated that it is possible for an organic fertility system to help reduce pest problems and increase the yields of the crop. The success from this project demonstrated that there can be a large amount of information obtained from fertility experiments such as this one.