- Agronomic: soybeans
- Natural Resources/Environment: hedgerows
- Pest Management: integrated pest management, prevention
Southern crop producers are shifting more and more to sustainable practices to increase conservation efforts. Whether it be the planting of shelterbelts for erosion control or the use of cover crops to promote better soil health, growers have several options to improve farm sustainability. Conservation strategies can be developed through the aid of programs like the Conservation Stewardship Program, whose main goal is to provide farmers the tools to successfully apply these conservation tactics on their farms. Several of these environmental manipulations may also support more stable natural enemy abundances, but a better understanding of whether the tactics provided by the Conservation Stewardship Program effectively increase natural enemy abundance is still needed. Do plantings like hedgerows enhance natural enemy or pest populations or both? Collaboration with Louisiana soybean producers that are currently enrolled in the Conservation Stewardship Program to investigate the effects of hedgerow plantings on both natural enemy and pest populations will take place within this study. Additionally, stink bug pests and three natural enemy groups, Geocoris spp., Reduviidae, and Araneae, will be targeted to track movement and verify whether migration into adjacent soybean occurs. The main goal of this proposed study is to aid in the development of more sustainable management strategies by determining if Conservation Stewardship Plantings effectively conserve natural enemies or if they provide a bridge for pests into adjacent soybean.
Project objectives from proposal:
Objective 1. Monitor abundance of arthropod natural enemies and pests within Conservation Stewardship plantings during the growing season.
Objective 2. Determine movement of arthropods from Conservation Stewardship plantings into adjacent crop using a mark and capture technique