Wisconsin has a history in the production of fresh market and processing fruits and vegetables including cucurbit crops such as melons, cucumber, squash, and pumpkins. While acreages and crops have changed over the years, growers have adapted and remained leaders in several crops. Additionally, small-acreage fresh market production, particularly organic, continues to expand in Wisconsin. A special focus of this section of the research will emphasize surveys of domestic and native pollinators. To date, we have documented significant reductions in both populations of cucumber beetles and the bacterial pathogen they transmit in susceptible vine crops using these tactics. In addition, we have identified several species of native pollinators which appear to be regularly abundant in fields treated for cucumber beetles. The seasonal abundance and species composition of insect pollinators varied among farm locations with Apis and Bombus spp occurring most frequently. We have demonstrated the ability to significantly reduce the reliance on broad spectrum insecticides by incorporating IPB-based, cultural practices that prevent damaging beetle feeding.
Soil Science Extension
University of Wisconsin Madison