- Vegetables: cabbages, cucurbits
- Pest Management: biological control, biorational pesticides, chemical control, disease vectors, economic threshold, field monitoring/scouting, integrated pest management, prevention, trap crops
Perimeter trap cropping (PTC) involves planting a more attractive trap crop so that it completely encircles and protects the main cash crop like fortress walls. Efficacy can often be improved by supplementing the system with other perimeter defenses (i.e. border sprays). In 2003, we set out to design and test PTC systems for 2-4 commodities in replicated research trials at university and commercial farms and to help popularize the use of these systems. Growers suggested the PTC systems to study and tested these and additional systems in commercial fields. A total of 24 Connecticut and Massachusetts growers installed PTC systems on 7 different commodities on over 98 acres of crops. Most growers found that PTC improved pest control, substantially reduced pesticide use, saved time and money, and was simpler to use than their conventional pest management program. Fourteen publications on PTC were produced and 16 presentations were conducted throughout the Northeast in the first year of the grant. First year milestones were exceeded in all categories and all performance target goals should be easily met in 2004.
Performance targets from proposal:
Of the 800 New England vegetable growers that will learn about PTC, at least 26 growers will adopt PTC on one (16 farms) or more crops (10 farms); will reap pesticide reduction, pest control, crop quality, environmental, safety, time, profit or personal satisfaction benefits; and upon completion of the project, their farms will serve as examples of a novel whole-farm systems approach to pest management.