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Exploring the Feasibility of Perimeter Trap Cropping for Striped Cucumber Beetle Management on Organic Farms 2010

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Project Leaders: Abby Seaman, NYS IPM Program, Jeffrey Gardner, Sylvie Pitcher, and Michael Hoffmann, Department of Entomology, Cornell University

Abstract: Striped cucumber beetle (SCB) is a serious pest of vine crops, reducing yield and quality through direct crop damage, and by transmitting bacterial wilt. SCB is often cited by organic farmers as one of their most serious pests. Organic growers do not have effective cultural or chemical control methods for dealing with this pest. Perimeter trap cropping (PTC) is a cultural practice that is used successfully on conventional farms, but important questions need to be answered to determine if it can be adapted for organic farms. A key question is whether SCB deposit more eggs on the PTC than the main crop, and whether destroying the PTC after SCB has completed egg-laying effectively kills larvae feeding on the roots, reducing emergence of summer adults. Lower numbers of emerging adults results in less late season damage to fruit, and fewer adults overwintering could potentially reduce local populations over the long term.