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(BASIC) July 26 & 27 Report
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For All Growers: Trip Report July 26 & 27, 2001

Kern County BASIC Pilot Program

Deke and Francisco Cornejo made and compiled the report.

 

Antongiovanni Farms – July 26–27, 2001

Francisco’s Field Report:

There were some number of whitefly. They are at several locations but especially distributed at the center of the field. The numbers are about one or two every other leaf.

There is good ratio of beneficials in sweep net samples.

In the sweep net were found:

5 nymphs and 12 adults of Big–eyed bug (eocoris),

3 Minute pirate bug (Orius),

4 Damsel bug (Nabis),

3 Lacewings,

3 Assassin bugs

some Ladybeetles.

Also (and it has become habitual) were observed adults and larvae of the large black ground beetle, Callosoma affinae ,

Hyposoter pupae

and Polistes wasps.

I released 200,000 Trichogramma, 4,500 Eretmocerus.

 

Ray Banducci cotton block – July 27, 2001

Franciso’s Field Report:

There are several ecosystems all together in one farm. In general the crop is very clean in the major part of the field, but there is a place located at the southeast corner that is opposite to the trees grouped at the front of this field and there is a heavy infestation with aphids on the weeds and at the cotton plants in that corner. We will look more closely next visit to be sure it will not become a problem.

Natural enemies of aphid:

In sweep net samples were found some

coccinelid beetles (ladybugs)

and abundance of naturally occurring Lacewings,(Chrysoperla spp.),

Damsel bugs, (Nabis spp.),

Bigeyed bugs (Geocoris spp.)

and the Minute pirate bug ,(Orius tristicolor).

Other natural enemies seen in sweep net:

Tachinid fly, Hyposoter wasps.

 

DeStefani Farm – July 27, 2001

Francisco’s Field Report:

The growth of the plants has shown a steady and healthy growth. The pest bug–beneficial bug ratio is overwhelmedp on the positive side. It is easy to see many cabbage looper Trichoplusia ni, and the alfalfa looper Autographa californica moths flying over the field. There are also some number of moth eggs. They are easily recognized by their habit of arching into a loop as they crawl, they have only two pairs of prolegs in the middle of the body instead of the four pairs found on most other caterpillars.

Significance of worms:

Loopers chew large, ragged holes in leaves but are seldom numerous enough to cause significant damage. They are usually kept under control by natural enemies.

Natural enemies of worms present:

Moderate populations of loopers may be more beneficial than harmful as they support populations of natural enemies that also attack bollworms, budworms and beet armyworm. The eggs and small larvae are attacked by Bigeyed bugs, Minute pirate bugs and other predators. Trichogramma parasites kill the eggs, and several other parasites, especially Hyposoter exiguae and Copidosoma truncatellum attack the larvae. Hypososter wasp injects an egg into an early instar caterpillar such as beet armyworm. The eggs hatch into a larva that feed on body fluids and tissues of the host. The host dies in the third or fourth instar, and the parasite larvae emerge from the host body, spin a cocoon , and pupate. The adult wasps emerge from the cocoons to mate and seek new hosts. Each female may destroy up 100 host caterpillars. The life cycle takes as little as 15 days, depending on temperature. Loopers are also subject to a nuclear polyhedrosis virus that can reduce populations rapidly.

D–Vac:

Samples collected at the four corners of the farm. Several parasitic flies and wasps were also observed from the vacuum samples. At this point the pest population is very well under control.

Releases:

Made of 200,000 Trichogrammas and 3,000 Eretmocerus were made at the whole farm following a pattern of releases through the rows along the field and walking across rows when the dense canopy allowed doing that.

Plan:

This coming week we will release some Ladybeetles to increase the diversity of the beneficial insects in case spider mite and Silverleaf whitefly populations are increased.

 

Bob Reynolds – July 27, 2001

Francisco’s Field Report:

The abundance of natural enemies is keeping pests very well under–control:

The overwhelming numbers of Ladybeetles suggest that this farm has a perfect surrounding habitat for this beneficial insect. In general the crop seems to be very good, clean and with a nice lush green color, with good flowering and starting to form bolls.

In the sweep net I found a large number of Ladybeetles, two young Praying mantis, Geocoris , Nabis, Orius, Lacewings , Assassin bugs, Collops, and some flies especially at the northwest side of the farm. Also found six spotted thrips so we are looking carefully for spider mites. At this point only observed some damage at leaves but did not find any adults of two spotted spider mites.

It is hard to find weeds.

Releases:

Releases of Trichogramma and Eretmocerus were made in two rows all the way through the farm. There are some patches where the plants are missing.

 

Rodger Sanders cotton block – July 27, 2001

Francisco’s Field Report:

It is interesting to see the high number of looper moths flying on the crop. They are coming out of alfalfa hay that was just cut. They are all over, flying at several places, mating while they are flying and resting in groups at wet spots at the boundaries of the field.

Natural enemies observed:

At the sweep net were found Geocoris, Orius spp, .Nabis, Lacewings, Ladybugs, Collops, and Zelus. Easy to observe parasitic flies and wasps flying through the field in different directions.

General aspect of the crop:

The plants have shorter space between the nodes (internodal distance) and were water–stressed. The internodal distance seems to be smaller than it should be, but flowers are all over the field, with a high number per plant and there are abundant honeybees. Heavy flowering and the availability of pollen can be another beneficial factor keeping the beneficial insect population very high in this field.

Sharing info with the crew:

An important aspect to be mentioned is the fact that Sanders’ employees that participated at the field day already talked to the other work mates about what they saw on that day so they were interested in sharing that information altogether. I came to the farm about 12:00 o’clock so when the crew returns from the lunch break they followed my car while I was collecting the samples and made the releases. We shared a little bit about the bugs that we were releasing and about some of the predators that were present at the sweep net. We talked about the possibility to be altogether for the next field day at the end of August.

Releases made of 100,000Trichogramma and 1,500 Eretmocerus were made in small numbers but well distributed throughout the field and along the new hedge of silverleaf whitefly refuge plants. At this refuge hedge it is interesting to find high numbers of aphid carcasses and a lot of ladybeetle adults and larvae. The Sudan grass is very well developed and the sweet corn has already started flowering and has some aphids, no bollworms.

Plans:

Get organic mulch for weed suppression in the hedge. I asked Charles, Mr. Sanders’ office assistant, to get organic mulch to protect the refuge plants from the weeds. We agree that they will bring a small trailer where they can carry the organic stuff and it will be delivered to the farm and it will be located over there along the refuge plants for us to use as a natural weed suppresser.

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