- Agronomic: potatoes
- Crop Production: tissue analysis
- Education and Training: demonstration, farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research
- Pest Management: biological control, biorational pesticides, compost extracts, physical control, row covers (for pests)
- Production Systems: agroecosystems
- Soil Management: organic matter, soil analysis, soil quality/health
Many organic farmers report a reduction in pest pressure after a number of years of organic production. Our goal in this project was to identify relationships between farm management practices, soil quality, and pest populations on mixed vegetable farms. We sampled extensively in potatoes and winter squash on four organic and four conventional farms throughout New York to characterize crop management practices, pest and beneficial complexes, a variety of soil characteristics, weed species and density, and field border flora and fauna. We also conducted educational programs for organic vegetable growers, and conducted efficacy trials for pest management materials approved for organic production.
Performance targets from proposal:
A. Explore the relationships between farm management practices, soil quality, farm landscape, and pest populations in two vegetable crops on organic and conventional farms. Estimate costs of production for the two crops on each cooperating farm.
B. Develop and present educational programs for organic vegetable growers.
C. Research and demonstrate new or unfamiliar pest management techniques and products allowable on certified organic farms.