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If you have attended any of my IPM talks in the past three years or seen the trap crop training module on Alabama Vegetable IPM website (http://www.aces.edu/anr/ipm/Vegetable/trapcropmodule.php), then you already know what I am talking about. Trap cropping is a unique cultural insect control tactic that deters pest feeding damage and works for certain insect pests; my focus has been leaffooted bugs and stink bugs with the sorghum-sunflower system we recommend. If you haven’t experienced it, then it is worth trying on small scale and then expand it for a full-fledged adoption.
As an entomologist, I was skeptical of the large scale use of the trap crops but that all changed as I started doing bigger vegetable test plots and IPM demonstrations to increase my confidence. The seeds are cheap and a bag of NK-300 sorghum or Peredovik sunflower lasts a while! By using sorghum and sunflower trap crop system on nearly 5.5 acres of vegetables across three locations (come to any of the IPM field days to see the trap crops in action), the vegetable IPM program has reduced spraying of main crops (tomatoes/peppers/squash) for leaffooted bugs by as much as three applications of neonicotinoids that otherwise would be needed in rotation with weekly synthetic pyrethroids applications. Overall, by only spraying the top of the NK300 sorghum panicle to kill the leaffooted bugs, we have also increased the beneficial insect population within trap and main crops. So there are definite advantages of the sorghum-sunflower system details of which are available at www.aces.edu/vegetableipm.
If you are interested in experiencing the system on your farm, please call me (Dr. A) at 251-331-8416 IMMEDIATELY and get FREE SAMPLE of sorghum and sunflower seeds. As long as you are monitoring the trap crop and killing or removing the pests in a timely manner, this IPM technology won’t fail you!
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