Integrating Biological Control into Cole Crop Production in the Pacific Northwest

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2003: $63,841.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2006
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $6,386.00
Region: Western
State: Washington
Principal Investigator:
William Snyder
Washington State University

Annual Reports


  • Vegetables: broccoli, cabbages
  • Additional Plants: native plants


  • Education and Training: demonstration, display, extension, farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research
  • Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns, community-supported agriculture
  • Natural Resources/Environment: habitat enhancement, hedgerows
  • Pest Management: biological control
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems
  • Sustainable Communities: sustainability measures


    We examined the use of beetle banks, which are unplowed grassy strips within agricultural fields, for the conservation of predatory ground beetles. Beetle banks were located on the farms of several cooperative growers, and also on a university research farm. Beetle banks successfully conserved ground beetles, doubling their densities. However, control of root maggots, the target pest, was not always improved because ground beetles are generalists that feed on many different insect prey species.

    Project objectives:

    There were 4 objectives:

    1) Evaluate field margins and in-field refuges for predator conservation.

    2) Document the seasonal abundance of different types of beneficial arthropods relative to the seasonal peaks in adult Delia spp. populations.

    3) Evaluate the impact of the various natural enemies as biocontrol agents of root maggots.

    4) Disseminate information to organic and conventional cole crop growers.

    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.