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Trapped Like A Bug!
Daviess County Vegetable Growers
Benefit From Using Pheromone Traps and Scouting

  • Reduced insecticide input by one-fourth.
  • Improved quality of fresh market yellow summer squash.
  • Less sweet corn loss after displaying for sale.
These were just a few of the benefits mentioned by vegetable growers who participated in the Daviess County "Pheromone Trapping for Horticultural Pests" field demonstration.

Under the supervision of Dr. Annette Meyer, Daviess County Extension Agent for Horticulture, and Dr. Ric Bessin, Extension Entomologist, vegetable growers were given the opportunity to participate in a field demonstration using pheromone traps and field scouting. Pheromone traps for squash vine borer, diamondback moth, beet armyworm, and corn earworm were used. Six growers participated in the program and a total of 15.6 acres was scouted including sweet corn, cabbage, broccoli, pumpkins and squash.

Monitoring for beet armyworm and diamondback moth in cabbage and broccoli helped growers learn when head of broccoli to apply an insecticide for the best control of the larvae. The diamondback moth pheromone wing traps helped to alert growers to carefully scout the fields. One grower reduced his insecticide usage on cabbage and broccoli by 25%.

One producer found that he was able to improve the quality of his fresh market squash, which resulted in an 18% increase in production. This year, the price of a bushel of squash was $28. The grower's yield this year was 400 bushels. Eighteen percent of the total production of his squash this year would have had a value of $2,016.

Growers not only improved crop quality in the field, but surprisingly, at the market as well. How? one grower reduced the number of ears that were lost after displaying them for sale from 15% to 1% of the total crop. At the farm market, the grower explained that customers open the shucks ear of corn on the ears of corn to check for larvae. The opened ears dry out faster and soon become unmarketable. As a result of participating in the Kentucky IPM program and using pheromone traps in sweet corn to monitor for corn earworm, the grower said he was able to target when an insecticide was needed to manage the corn earworms more effectively. The grower said that when larvae were present in the ears, some consumers would go ahead and purchase the ears, but the product moved slowly. When the customer saw that the corn did not have larvae in the ears, then he or she did not check every ear, the product sold faster and the loss of the product on the refrigerated shelf was reduced to only one percent of the crop.

Kentucky IPM

Original document: 23 February 2000
Last updated: 23 February 2000

Scoutcat logo courtesy of C. Ware, copyright 2000

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