Row Cover Use Methods for Cucurbit Pest and Pollinator Management

Project Overview

Project Type: On-Farm Research
Funds awarded in 2014: $14,995.00
Projected End Date: 12/15/2017
Grant Recipient: Oklahoma State University
Region: Southern
State: Oklahoma
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Jim Shrefler
Oklahoma State University

Annual Reports

Information Products


  • Vegetables: cucurbits


  • Education and Training: on-farm/ranch research
  • Pest Management: cultural control, integrated pest management, prevention, row covers (for pests)


    Evaluation and comparison of management methods for using row covers to exclude insect pests from cucurbit crops showed that daily cover removal during morning hours resulted in squash yields comparable to those obtained without row covers where insecticides were employed. Yields appeared to be lower with the current practice of using row covers up until the initiation of flowering, at which time covers are removed completely.  The original plan was to evaluate these practices as an approach for use with early season plantings.  Due to an unusually wet spring field activities and planting were accomplished about one month later than intended.  The results obtained for crop yield and insect pest incidence were comparable for two of the three study sites.  The third study site had a very low insect pest incidence. 

    Project objectives:


    Field trials are being used to evaluate row cover use and management for the exclusion of insect pests in cucurbit vegetable crops. The practices that are being evaluated are designed to address the exclusion of insect pests from the crop as well as the need for pollinator access to the crop.

    Project objectives are:

    1. Evaluate possible row cover management practices to determine their efficacy and practicality of implementation.
    2. Increase grower awareness of alternative insect pest management practices for cucurbit crops.
    3. Communicate to growers the concepts being employed in the practices used in this research, including both the insect pest management and pollinator aspects.
    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.