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Journal of Pest Science

, Volume 90, Issue 4, pp 1245–1255 | Cite as

Evaluating a polyculture trap crop for organic management of Halyomorpha halys and native stink bugs in peppers

  • Clarissa R. MathewsEmail author
  • Brett Blaauw
  • Galen Dively
  • James Kotcon
  • Jennifer Moore
  • Emily Ogburn
  • Douglas G. Pfeiffer
  • Taliaferro Trope
  • James F. Walgenbach
  • Celeste Welty
  • Gladis Zinati
  • Anne L. Nielsen
Original Paper

Abstract

Organic farming systems are significantly challenged by the invasive Halyomorpha halys (Stål) and native stink bug species that injure vegetable crops. This two-year study evaluated a polyculture trap crop composed of sunflower and sorghum for organic pepper production at 11 sites in 8 mid-Atlantic and Southeastern states. Stink bug densities in the trap crop and peppers were recorded weekly (mid-June through September), and stink bug fruit injury was compared for trap crop-protected and unprotected control peppers. The trap crop was highly attractive, harboring 5–50× more stink bugs per m2 than the peppers and providing an 8-week attraction period coinciding with peak stink bug activity. Despite this attractiveness, the trap crop was not effective at diverting adult stink bugs away from the pepper crop during the early fruiting period at most sites. However, the average density of stink bug nymphs in pepper plots surrounded by trap crops was 4× lower than controls 5 weeks after planting for pooled sites. Trap crop-protected peppers also had significantly less injury compared to control peppers pooled across sites and years. However, the resulting reduction in pepper damage was insufficient to be economically viable. Overall, results provide evidence that a polyculture trap crop was most effective during the latter weeks of the pepper crop cycle. Future research should address spatial arrangement of the trap crop or integration of complimentary management tactics within the trap crop earlier in the growing season to target the initial colonizing adult stink bugs.

Keywords

Stink bug Hemiptera: Pentatomidae Organic management Habitat manipulation Sunflower Sorghum Pepper injury 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank the farmers who generously provided their land and field support to make this research possible and numerous student interns and volunteers in the Mathews, Dively, Nielsen and Wszelaki labs. This project was funded by United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture Grant #2012-51300-20097.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

CM, BB, GD, JK, JM, TT, DP, EO, JW, CW, GZ and AN declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clarissa R. Mathews
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Brett Blaauw
    • 3
  • Galen Dively
    • 4
  • James Kotcon
    • 5
  • Jennifer Moore
    • 6
  • Emily Ogburn
    • 7
  • Douglas G. Pfeiffer
    • 8
  • Taliaferro Trope
    • 8
  • James F. Walgenbach
    • 7
  • Celeste Welty
    • 9
  • Gladis Zinati
    • 10
  • Anne L. Nielsen
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of Environmental and Physical SciencesShepherd UniversityShepherdstownUSA
  2. 2.Redbud Farm, LLCInwoodUSA
  3. 3.Department of EntomologyRutgers UniversityBridgetonUSA
  4. 4.Department of EntomologyUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  5. 5.Division of Plant and Soil SciencesWest Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA
  6. 6.Department of Plant SciencesUniversity of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA
  7. 7.Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension CenterNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA
  8. 8.Department of EntomologyVirginia TechBlacksburgUSA
  9. 9.Department of EntomologyOhio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  10. 10.The Rodale InstituteKutztownUSA

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