Perimeter and Internal Trap Cropping in Organic Winter Squash

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 2009: $4,271.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2010
Region: Northeast
State: Massachusetts
Project Leader:
Nancy Hanson
Hampshire College


  • Vegetables: cucurbits


  • Crop Production: application rate management
  • Pest Management: biological control, cultural control, integrated pest management, prevention, trap crops

    Proposal summary:

    Current issue

    In previous SARE-funded studies, we developed organic perimeter trap cropping (PTC) methods for control of cucumber beetle (CB) in winter squash, settling on Entrust for the PTC plants and Surround for the main crop. Last year, we tried adding internal trap crop rows to PTC plots to see if they act as additional sinks for CB and further reduce their numbers in main crops (vs. acting as a source to increase CB, or have no net effect). This could ideally offer additional control when PTCs may be less effective due to less effective associated pesticides or high CB numbers. We found that CB preferred trap crops, but numbers were comparable among trap plants no matter where they were, and also among the main crops regardless of treatment, so that the internal traps acted as neither source nor sink. This may be an outcome of the small size of our plots making choice by CB especially easy.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Here we propose to try spacing internal traps more widely within a single large PTC field so that we may see more clearly how internal traps might affect CB variation in the main crops near vs. far from the trap crops. As before, CB will be scouted and controls applied as needed and CB numbers in all plants mapped to show CB distributions. Our results will be presented on a workshop tour during the 2009 NOFA summer conference and published in farm periodicals such as the UMass Vegetable News Notes.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.