- Vegetables: broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbages, cauliflower, radishes (culinary), turnips
- Crop Production: biological inoculants
- Pest Management: biological control, integrated pest management
Cruciferous crops make up a significant portion of the yearly harvest from Northeastern vegetable and diversified farms. In total, crucifers make up 6% of the total harvested vegetable acreage within the region covering over 16,000 acres. Cabbage root maggot (CRM) is a major pest of cruciferous crops and can impart serious injury on a multitude of cruciferous vegetables.The CRM is particularly a problem for organic growers, as there are few easily deployed organic options available for CRM management. The objective of this project is to improve upon an
innovative method to decrease the incidence of damage and reduce yield loss associated with CRM. To accomplish this, we will test the field efficacy of two types of entomopathogenic nematode (EPN) soil applications, commercially available (CA) and regionally adapted (RA), for the control of CRM. In collaboration with Bear Roots Farm, we will perform field trials in radish crops to identify the most appropriate application. Our proposal looks to build upon the current research of EPNs for CRM control in two ways: 1) by testing the efficacy of EPNs in root crops and 2) by exploring the feasibility and utility of regionally adapted EPN strains. Following the completion of the study, we will distribute our results via online extension websites and newsletters. Also, we will hold formal EPN workshops describing the EPN technique. Instructional materials detailing the EPN process from field cup to soil application will be distributed as hard copy and digital versions at all conferences and workshops.
Project objectives from proposal:
The goal of this project is to add to the available IPM toolbox for vegetable growers to decrease the incidence of damage and reduce yield loss associated with CRM. To accomplish this, we will test the field efficacy of two types of entomopathogenic nematode (EPN) soil applications, commercially available (CA) and regionally adapted (RA), for the management of CRM. Specifically, we will determine if soil applications of CA and/or RA will decrease the number of CRM in the radish rhizosphere and increase the market quality (as measured by root damage) and/or yield of radish crops when compared to untreated controls (UC). We will also determine if the EPN infection rate
varies temporally (i.e. at seeding, post-EPN application and post-harvest) for each treatment.
We will look to answer are the following:
Do soil applications of ENPs decrease the amount and severity of damage leading to increases in market quality and yield in radish crops?
Do soil applications of each method, (CA, RA and UC) differ in their ability to reduce the amount and severity of damage in radish crops?
Do regionally adapted nematodes persist longer as biologically active control agents when compared with commercially available applications?