Biological Control of Pests
Biological solutions to weed and insect control are gaining popularity as producers try to reduce inputs while maintaining yield.
Objective: To develop a cropping system that will provide biological control of European corn borer.
The producer inter-cropped strips of alfalfa with corn to provide habitat for beneficial predator insects to control corn borer and other pests. He sprayed sugar and yeast on alfalfa to enhance insect populations and used sticky traps and sweep nets for population evaluation. High school students took population counts of both predator and benificial insects. Research from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln assisted with identification of the captured insects.
Results: The data has not been fully analyzed. However, early results indicated that if supply may not be adequate to enhance beneficial insect populations. The producer is considering an alternate legume in narrower strips for the upcoming season.