- Additional Plants: ornamentals
- Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns
- Pest Management: field monitoring/scouting, integrated pest management
Crop losses due to certain key pests like cucumber beetles, aphids, thrips, lepidoptera larvae, fusarium and more have been persistent problems in the organic cut flower industry. Currently, there is a minimal amount of readily available and regionally-specific information regarding sustainable Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices for organic cut flower farms that are effective and economical. The question our research project is designed to answer is what IPM methods are cost-effective for reducing losses due to key pests. This project will utilize monitoring, data collection, and analysis; followed by implementation, further monitoring and data collection, and additional refinement as needed.
During the monitoring phase, we will identify key pests. During analysis, we will identify the highest pressure pests, establish economic thresholds, and analyze what the best sustainable management methods are. Following this, we will implement those methods, while continuing to monitor and record pest pressure and efficacy of the implementation utilized.
The significance of this project is to develop research material on central coast pests on an organic cut flower farm that can be shared with the broader community, as well as decreasing pest pressure at Do Right Flower Farm, which are both expected outcomes of this endeavor. We plan on disseminating the research information, tools and and techniques for monitoring, project results, and IPM methodologies to the wider agricultural community through the Do Right Farm website, social media postings, the ASCFG newsletter and with bi-yearly bilingual field days throughout the duration of the project. The final research report should help inform other growers in the region on successful methods to control key pests, ideally giving other producers better information and methods to improve yields and profits across all central coast organic flower productions. All educational and outreach materials will be provided in both English and Spanish.
Project objectives from proposal:
- Identify key pests affecting a Central Coast CA organic cut flower farm.
- Research and determine cost-effective sustainable IPM methods for suppressing key pests.
- Reduce losses from key pests.
- Share research findings (research data, economic impact, implementation strategies) with local Central Coast growers and farm educators in English and Spanish.
- Share tools and methods for monitoring so that they can be reproducible on other farms.