Assembly of European Horticultural Regions

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SmartProtect : managing arthropod pests in organic vegetable crops

The control options for arthropod pests in vegetables are based on multiple factors : pest biology, feeding behavior, etc. Know more about them in this article.

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The organic and conventional vegetable crops have similar pests.

Common pest species of vegetables include coleoptera, diptera, hemiptera; lepidoptera; thysanoptera, and acarina, as well as symphylans and spotted snake millipedes. These pests have different methods of damaging vegetable plants, including but not limited to chewing, boring, rasping/scraping and piercing and sucking. They prefer to feed on surfaces or bored plant tissues (leaves, roots, stems or fruits), mines, rolls, folds. The control options for arthropod pests in vegetables are based on multiple factors, including pest biology, feeding behavior/habitat, mode of action of the pesticide option, prevention/curative and environmental conditions. These factors all need to be taken into consideration in order to develop an integrated pest management (IPM) plan for an organic field.


Biological Options

The biological approach can be especially important in an organic setting. Biologicals include natural enemies, microbial control agents and biostimulants. “[Biologicals] play a significant role in IPM in improving crop health, providing natural control, reducing the reliance on synthetic or other pesticides, minimizing environmental and human risk, and promoting sustainable food production.” 


Chemical Options

If pesticides need to be used on an organic vegetable field the botanical pesticides, microbial or microbial metabolite-based pesticides, and/or pesticides containing diatomaceous earth, fatty acids and minerals. Pesticides will need to be chosen based on arthropod behavior and habitat (i.e. chewing vs. sucking insects, surface feeders vs. borers/miners/rollers, underground vs. aboveground, life stage of insect, etc.) Active ingredients for pesticides with organic labels include pyrethrins, spynosyns, avermectins, azadirachtin and botanical extracts/oils.


Organic vs. Conventional

 Except for using the products that do not have organic registration the conventional vegetable production systems use the same strategies for pest management. Is not any new pests specific to organic vegetables at the moment, but diamondback moth (DBM)infestations are growing in some areas in both organic and conventional fields.


To know more read the article of Organic FARMER


Know more about SmartProtect


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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No. 862563.


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