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(BASIC) August 28 Report


For All Growers: Trip Report August 28, 2001

Kern County BASIC Pilot Program

Deke and Francisco Cornejo made and compiled the report.


Mr. K. Antongiovani

Pest situation:

This farm is doing better than the previous weeks. The presence of beneficial insects is not abundant as it was prior to, but it has shown a steady number of them, which has allowed keeping the pest at low and tolerable levels. Walking through the field is easy to observe that the white fly and the aphid population show a decline in numbers as we approach to center. The highest number of pest is still at the East Side, but their number is diminished from earlier observations. Honeydew is only present at few plants at the outside boundaries. The number of aphids out number the whitefly in most of the field. The total number of pests have decreased over the past three weeks.

Natural Enemies:

At the sweep net it is easy to observe medium to high numbers of Geocoris and Lacewings. Nabis spp and Zelus are also present at every single sweep. Lady beetles are seen at all over the farm but in numbers that suggest that they are not finding enough prey to keep the high ratio of reproduction. In a general overview I believe that whiteflies will still as the predominant pest but I hope that their numbers will be kept under numbers that will not reach a damage level

Beneficial insect releases

I release 25,000 eggs of Green Lacewings in two paths walking east toward west and vice versa.


Mr. R. Banducci

Farmscape changes. A big change on the farmscape scenario was made last week the sweet corn field adjacent to cotton fields was chopped. As we mentioned before, the cornfield boosted the natural enemy’s complex that was always founded at this farm. It was almost an ideal situation having an alfalfa field at one side and a complex crops in the other including Sweet corn and water melons among other several varieties of cantaloupes and honeydew melons all planted on different times provided an excellent habitat for natural enemies. They have done a good job keeping very clean the cotton fields. These positive situations still present today. There are good number of beneficial insects and the cotton plants that still growing are doing very well.

Pest situation:

I found that the Whitefly is the predominant pest but is well under control. Aphids are present only at few plants at the East Side along the back dirt road. There still some weeds, mostly Johnson grass and there are some numbers of aphids that are supporting the green lacewing larvae populations. At this point I believe there is a high ratio on the beneficial versus the pest and of course it is in part because many of the beneficial moved from the chopped sweet corn file.

Natural enemies:

At the sweep net I found Geocoris, Ladybeetles, Orius, Nabis, Zelus, and spiders. At the weed refuge, I observed Hover flies and some parasitic wasps, observing to some of them been busy at this time gathering mud to build their nest


Mr. Bill DeStefanni:

Pest situation:

At this farm, after the irrigation water was stopped, little changes on the pest situation has occurred.. There is some cotton plant with a combination of aphids and whiteflies especially at the outside perimeter. Walking through the field is easy to observe that the whitefly and the aphid population show a decline in numbers as we approach to center. The highest number of the pest is at the east and west side but their number is diminished from earlier observations. Honeydew is only present at few plants at the outside boundaries specially at these areas were fire ants colonies has been observed through the growing season.

Natural enemies:

At the sweep net were founded good numbers of Geocoris, Nabis, Zelus and Orius. Also I observed Colosoma and some parasitic wasp. Spiders spp. are most abundant at the west side. Lacewings and Ladybeetle were also founded at the sweep net but as I mentioned before, their numbers are diminishing.

Habitat planting:

I was talking extensive to Jose Aceves, Mr. DeStefani foreman, related to the importance of an early planning for the planting the refuge. Since Mr. DeStefani will be out of town for a while I would like to communicate with him seeking for the approval of the site that he believe that it could be suited at his field. One of the choices sites is along the irrigation ditch that run along the field between the actual cotton field and the alfalfa was just disked.



Pest situation:

The high numbers of aphids and whiteflies that we observed in the previous weeks seems that it has attracted a very high number of beneficial insects. I observed that the pest still located only at the outside boundaries but specially at the east side of the field. There are some significant numbers along the north and west sides. At these points are also observed several and very active fire ants colonies that are present foraging on plants several feet inside of the field. As the positive result are the overwhelming numbers of Ladybeetles adult and larvae that are present at all over the field. Lacewings are present on a less quantity. Overall the beneficials have kept the pests in check and in areas have noticeably reduced the pest numbers.

Beneficial insect releases:

I made releases of 30,000 Green Lacewings along the East and North sides of the field. It was of a good help to count with Omar Mr. Reynolds’ foreman to fulfill this task while he learn a bit on some of the beneficial insects that we observed on that field. After I spoke with Mr. Reynolds on the phone, I explain the actual situation and we agree that we are going to keep a close eye on the crop. If there is any changed on the actual pest scenario it will be communicated to him since he will be traveling.

Sweep net observations:

There are a very high number of Ladybeetles present at all stage of development. Big larvae are observed at all over the field as adults and their eggs. Also but in less numbers are Geocoris, Orius and Lacewings.and several spp. Of spiders. While the beneficial insect releases and the sweep net collection were made, Hover flies and parasitic wasp were observed in a very good number.


R. & S. Sanders farm:

Pest situation:

Due to a problem on the water pump that was pointed out last week, the water stress on the cotton plants has pushed away some of the pest and the only most important insect pest are whitefly. Their population is lower at the south end and increasing as we approach northwest sides.

Beneficial releases:

I made releases of Green Lacewings at the West Side of the farm were to cotton plants has the highest growth ratio.

Sweep net:

Just little activity was founded. There are Geocoris and Ladybeetles on a small numbers. There also are Nabis, Zelus and some spp. of spiders

Habitat situation:

As we mentioned on our last report, during last week visit we have to water the plants by hand. This week we found that the water from the drip irrigation was stopped increasing the risk of loosing some of the plants for water stress. It was fortunate that we choose going over there on Tuesday instead of the regular Thursday schedule so water was done again Tuesday and Wednesday.

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