Research

raspberry spotted wing drosophila damage

 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 MN Dept. of Agriculture, and the Minnesota Invasive Terrestrial Plants and Pests Center

For more information about this researchm visit our project pages on eOrganic, the Minnesota Invasive Terrestrial Plants and Pests Center site, and the UMN FruitEdge website.


brassicas growing in high tunnels picture

Assessing the impact of high tunnels and plastic coverings on crop quality and insect herbivory on brassica crops in organic systems

In response to consumer demand, growers are interested in increasing production of brassica crops through season extension techniques such as high tunnels. In addition to extending the season, high tunnels also influence microclimate and improve quality of a wide variety of fruit and vegetable crops and can influence pest pressure. Crop phytonutrient content may be influenced by genetic as well as environmental factors, including temperature, light, and stress. In this project, we explored the high tunnel environment and impacts on crop production and quality of kale, collards, and broccoli crops. We are also exploring the interaction of crop-environment on insect pest pressure in tunnels and explored two photoselective plastics on tunnels compared to standard tunnel poly. 

Funding provided by the USDA Capacity Building Grant, in collaboration with Tennessee State University