New York ranks fourth in the nation for number of certified organic farms and sixth in vegetable production, ringing the registers at more than $14 million.
Organic practices help healthy crops shrug off many insect pests — disease pests too. But if you’re a grower, you know some pests persist despite well-designed farming system. So for the past three years, we’ve run organic pesticide trials pitting both old standards and new arrivals on the market against a foursome of vexing insect pests and a duo of deadly diseases. We want to see which treatments are effective — and which are money down the drain.
The insects: squash vine borer, swede midge, crucifer flea beetle and (but of course) cucumber beetle. The diseases: alternaria blight and downy mildew.
Our results? We found a couple of effective products for organic farmers to use against squash vine borer, and one that shows promise against swede midge.
The other insects and the diseases? We’re still looking ….
Want something to read over breakfast? See our efficacy reports online.
Author: Mary Woodsen