Development and implementation of systems-based organic management strategies for spotted-wing drosophila
Spotted-wing drosophila (SWD) is a devastating pest of small and stone fruits throughout the United States causing very high losses (up to 100%) in crop yield and quality, estimated at $718 million annually. Management of SWD is achieved largely by insecticide applications and is particularly challenging for organic growers due to the few effective OMRI approved materials. The goal of our research is to apply information on biology, ecology, and behavior SWD to develop organically appropriate management programs
Funded provided by the USDA Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, and the Minnesota Invasive Terrestrial Plants and Pests Center.
Creating integrated pest management plans for local hydroponic and aquaponic vegetable crop industries
In Minnesota, aquaponic and hydroponic vegetable growing systems are an emerging industry. Despite the increased level of environmental control, ‘ponic’ systems are still confronted by numerous pests and diseases able to cause substantial losses to vegetable crop yields. ‘Ponic’ growers in Minnesota have expressed major challenges in controlling pests like aphids, spider mites and thrips, especially without the use of pesticides which cannot be used near fish in aquaponic systems. In this project, we are investigating fertility optimization, cultivar selection, and biocompatibility of insecticides with biological control to develop integrated pest management practices for local hydroponic and aquaponic vegetable crop industries. We are partnering with UMN Extension, Spark-Y Youth Action Labs, Holistic Health Farms, and a network of local hydroponic growers to guide research, disseminate findings, and create demonstrations and curriculum that can be integrated into their pre-existing programs and reach new audiences on integrated pest management in these systems.
Funded by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant (2019-2021).
For more information about small-scale hydroponics, visit the University of Minnesota Extension's How to Guide.