Study Shows Corn Plants Help Control Major Mite Pest

Study Shows Corn Plants Help Control Major Mite Pest

Already a source of food and biofuel, University of Florida researchers report in a new study that corn plants can help sustain populations of small, flying insects known as gall midges in order to control twospotted spider mites.

Spider mites are hard-to-manage, major pests of hundreds of ornamental and vegetable crops.

In the study, which is published in the current issue of Crop Protection, the highly mobile midge could find spider mites from more than 23 feet away and controlled more than 81% of spider mites on green beans in a greenhouse test.

The corn provides a supply of non-pest mites to feed gall midges when spider mite populations run low.

This is known as a banker plant system since the corn plant stores, or “banks,” extra prey for midges. And by using the midge to control spider mites, the system reduces the need for pesticides. The system was tested on green beans but could be applied to different greenhouse-grown crops, such as tomatoes.

“Anything you can do to manage spider mites without using pesticides is going to be a major benefit,” said Lance Osborne, an entomologist with UF/IFAS and co-author of the study. Osborne is based at the Mid-Florida Research and Education Center in Apopka.

Spider mites quickly build resistance to pesticides and become nearly impossible to control, Osborne said.

Study co-authors include graduate assistant Yingfang Xiao, associate professor Jianjun Chen, lab technician Katherine Houben and research assistant Fabieli Irizarry — all with IFAS, and Cindy McKenzie, research entomologist with the USDA in Ft. Pierce. EPA, the USDA Floriculture and Nursery Research Initiative, and UF/IFAS funded the research.

Source: UF/IFAS

Leave a Reply

Featured Stories
GenNext Growers
October 21, 2017
Young Grower Alliance to Host Tour
Young growers will see farm marketing, diversified plantings, hard cider varieties, and more. Read More
Nuts
October 21, 2017
Use the Off-Season to Your Orchard’s Advantage
While the hard work of harvest is over, there are still many tasks that can help you get a jump on the next growing season. Read More
Facebook promo at Flamingo Road
GenNext Growers
October 21, 2017
5 Ways to Double Your Farm’s Revenue Using Facebook
This handful of helpful suggestions might have you loving what it does for your operation's bottom line. Read More
orange juice in a glass
Citrus
October 20, 2017
Is Your Orange Juice Glass Half Empty or Half Full?
There is strong-willed — some might even say stubborn — blood flowing through the veins of Florida growers. Read More
Events
October 20, 2017
Agriculture’s Big Data is Coming to You [Opinion]
It’s an opportunity to fine-tune your operation and maximize profits, but it also brings obligations. Read More
Blue Heron Nurseries greenhouses post-Irma
Varieties & Rootstocks
October 20, 2017
Taking Stock of Florida Citrus After the Storm
Extraordinary times call for industrywide cooperation and partnerships. Read More
Citrus stew courtesy of Irma
Citrus
October 19, 2017
Disaster Relief: Ways Florida Growers Can Find Farm Aid
With billions of dollars lost to Irma, financial assistance will be crucial for many. Read More
Fruits
October 19, 2017
New Online Tool Helps Growers Determine Need for Groundwater Recharge
California Land Use Viewer can help growers determine if they can adopt groundwater recharge practices on their own operations. Read More
subirrigation implementation
Irrigation
October 19, 2017
Northeast Florida Farmers Stepping up to Save Water
Green light given to nine agricultural projects steeped in stewardship. Read More
Vegetables
October 18, 2017
The 2018 State of the Vegetable Industry Survey Is Now Open!
How has this year performed for you? Share how things have gone this year – and your expectations for 2018 – in our shorter, more focused survey. Read More
Citrus
October 18, 2017
How to Keep Track of Climate Change
Use cool tools to find out how your production methods may change in the future, how much your area is at risk, and how to limit your own impact on the climate. Read More
Vegetables
October 18, 2017
Stop Viewing Fellow Growers as the Enemy [Opinion]
Instead, growers should focus on issues that benefit everyone, from gaining a stronger voice when negotiating with retailers, to finding a way to share ideas and costs on precision agriculture tools. Read More
Citrus
October 17, 2017
USDA Issues Disaster Declaration for Hurricane-Stricken Florida Farmers
Operators in designated counties eligible for emergency assistance. Read More
Fruits
October 17, 2017
Hirst Named American Society of Horticultural Science Fellow
Honor was presented during society’s annual meeting. Read More
Crop Protection
October 17, 2017
EPA Takes Steps to Reduce Risk of Drift-Related Herbicide Injury
With reports of dicamba injuries in tomatoes, peaches, grapes, and other crops, the agency works to reduce the impact of spray drift on vulnerable crops. Read More
The Latest
GenNext Growers
October 21, 2017
Young Grower Alliance to Host Tour
Young growers will see farm marketing, diversified plantings, hard cider varieties, and more. Read More
Nuts
October 21, 2017
Use the Off-Season to Your Orchard’s Adv…
While the hard work of harvest is over, there are still many tasks that can help you get a jump on the next growing season. Read More
GenNext Growers
October 21, 2017
5 Ways to Double Your Farm’s Reven…
This handful of helpful suggestions might have you loving what it does for your operation's bottom line. Read More
Citrus
October 20, 2017
Is Your Orange Juice Glass Half Empty or…
There is strong-willed — some might even say stubborn — blood flowing through the veins of Florida growers. Read More
Events
October 20, 2017
Agriculture’s Big Data is Coming t…
It’s an opportunity to fine-tune your operation and maximize profits, but it also brings obligations. Read More
Varieties & Rootstocks
October 20, 2017
Taking Stock of Florida Citrus After the…
Extraordinary times call for industrywide cooperation and partnerships. Read More
Citrus
October 19, 2017
Disaster Relief: Ways Florida Growers Ca…
With billions of dollars lost to Irma, financial assistance will be crucial for many. Read More
Fruits
October 19, 2017
New Online Tool Helps Growers Determine …
California Land Use Viewer can help growers determine if they can adopt groundwater recharge practices on their own operations. Read More
Irrigation
October 19, 2017
Northeast Florida Farmers Stepping up to…
Green light given to nine agricultural projects steeped in stewardship. Read More
Vegetables
October 18, 2017
The 2018 State of the Vegetable Industry…
How has this year performed for you? Share how things have gone this year – and your expectations for 2018 – in our shorter, more focused survey. Read More
Citrus
October 18, 2017
How to Keep Track of Climate Change
Use cool tools to find out how your production methods may change in the future, how much your area is at risk, and how to limit your own impact on the climate. Read More
Vegetables
October 18, 2017
Stop Viewing Fellow Growers as the Enemy…
Instead, growers should focus on issues that benefit everyone, from gaining a stronger voice when negotiating with retailers, to finding a way to share ideas and costs on precision agriculture tools. Read More
Citrus
October 17, 2017
USDA Issues Disaster Declaration for Hur…
Operators in designated counties eligible for emergency assistance. Read More
Fruits
October 17, 2017
Hirst Named American Society of Horticul…
Honor was presented during society’s annual meeting. Read More
Crop Protection
October 17, 2017
EPA Takes Steps to Reduce Risk of Drift-…
With reports of dicamba injuries in tomatoes, peaches, grapes, and other crops, the agency works to reduce the impact of spray drift on vulnerable crops. Read More
Fruits
October 16, 2017
New Broad-Spectrum Herbicide Released by…
Grapple herbicide works on pre- and post-emergent weeds in orchards and vineyards. Read More
Citrus
October 16, 2017
Wrath of Hurricane Irma’s Rainfall…
Report says storm dropped enough gallons of water on Florida’s St. Johns River Water Management District to swamp 6.7 million football fields. Read More
Fruits
October 14, 2017
USDA Seeks Applications for Next Round o…
SCRI grants to total $48 million for 2018 fiscal year. Read More