As state and federal regulators try to limit synthetic pesticides available to growers, Cornell entomologist Brian Nault is investigating the use of nematodes to manage potato pests, reports Kara Lynn Dunn for American Agriculturist.
The New York Farm Viability Institute is funding the research, which is designed to help the state’s 150 potato growers.
“Research into biologically based alternatives to chemical applications for insects and weed management in both organic and conventional systems is increasingly of interest by both growers and environmentalists. Brian Nault’s work is focused on two highly destructive potato crop pests,” says Brian Reeves, vegetable grower and board member of New York Farm Viability Institute.
“As of the fall of 2022, we have collected three data sets from field trials with entomopathogenic nematodes [EPN] that examine their impact on Colorado potato beetle populations and crop damage by wireworms,” Nault says.