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Strategies for cabbage whitefly regulation and implementation into field vegetable production systems


Project code: 2812NA046
Contract period: 01.06.2013 - 31.12.2016
Budget: 95,682 Euro
Purpose of research: Applied research

The project is part of a joint research initiative on the key pest cabbage whitefly (other subprojects: Integrated control of the cabbage whitefly attacking vegetable cabbages (12NA020); Strategies to regulate the cabbage whitefly and integration into vegetable growing process (12NA046); New approaches to control the cabbage whitefly (Aleyrodes proletella) a key pest in cabbage (12NA022)). Overall goal of the joint research initiative is to develop a concept to control the cabbage whitefly in organic and integrated growing of cabbage. The aim of the current sub-project is to improve plant protection in cabbage growing in the field with new approaches to promote natural enemies. This will be done with a newly developed flowering strip, which is adapted to the system cabbage – cabbage white fly and its antagonists, will be developed and optimised. Additionally a banker plant system will be included to increase natural enemy abundance and activity substantially. In the first year an intensive monitoring for beneficials on Brussels sprouts will be done nationwide, to get an exhaustive overview of the occurring species and their importance. To boost antagonists relevant to the project aim, i.e. integrated control of the cabbage whitefly, two types of flowering strips with different plant species containing banker plants, flowering plants and ground covering plants, will be developed. The resulting two flowering strip types will be evaluated in field experiments using two different strip sizes relative to the growing area. By these optimisation steps only beneficials will be promoted, which are important for this system but not pests such as pest butterflies. Finally the optimised flowering strip will be tested for practical suitability and ease of integration to commercial growers using biological growing systems.

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