Wisconsin has a history in the production of fresh market and processing fruits and vegetables including cucurbit crops, succulent beans, sweet corn, peas, carrots, and potatoes. While acreages and crops have changed over the years, growers have adapted and remained leaders in several of these primary crops. The goal of this project is to replace current insect management programs in key segments of the production region, which rely on frequent foliar applications of broad spectrum insecticides, with an economically viable reduced-risk system. This system has focused on EPA classified reduced-risk (RR) and organophosphate (OP)-replacement insecticides and application technology to minimize worker exposure to pesticides and mitigate adverse effects on human health, the environment, and non-target organisms, including biological control agents and pollinators. Specifically, this project focuses on potato in field production systems and is transferable to other fresh and direct market segments. Focus on this crop results from their heavy reliance on high insecticide inputs, the high degree of oversight and management needed to grow and harvest crops, and their economic importance in the region. Outcomes of the work include new pest management strategies devised for the potato crop to improve production efficiency and profitability, reduce human health and societal costs associated with pest management, and increase the long-term sustainability of these crops.
Soil Science Extension
University of Wisconsin Madison