The effects of crimper-rolled winter rye on striped cucumber beetle populations in spaghetti squash production

Maxime Lefebvre, research assistant

Maxime Lefebvre

Researcher, Ph.D.

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Description

The striped cucumber beetle (CRC) is the main enemy of cucurbit crops in Quebec. In addition to direct damage to seedlings and transplants, it can transmit bacterial wilt. Organic growers have very few ways to control rootworm and conventional growers mainly use neonicotinoid seed treatments. Rolled-creped rye mulch is a technique already used by many producers to control weeds and diseases. The aim of the present project is to evaluate the effectiveness of a rolled fall rye mulch on the dynamics of CRC, predators and bacterial wilt transmitted by CRC. The experiment will take place at the organic agriculture innovation platform of the Institute for Research and Development in Agro-Environment (IRDA) located in Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville. The abundance and population dynamics of the main pests (CRC and squash bugs) and main predators will be assessed. As a comparative treatment, the squash will be planted in the same way in bare soil, without mulch, under mechanical weed control. Our prediction is that CRCs will be less abundant in plots with rye and that predator populations will be more abundant. This technique has already demonstrated its effectiveness in increasing the quality of squash and reducing the presence of weeds in conventional companies. If the growers' observations are validated, organic companies would get an effective way to fight CRC.

Objective(s)

To evaluate the effect of rye mulch in reducing the pressure of CRC and other important pests.

Specific objectives :

  1. To assess the effect of rolled rye mulch on the population dynamics of CRC and other pests.
  2. To assess the effect of rolled rye mulch on predator populations.
  3. To assess the effect of rolled rye mulch on bacterial wilt occurrence and yield.

From 2021 to 2025

Project duration

Market gardening

Activity areas

Soil health, Water protection, Air quality, Organic farming

Services

Partner

Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

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