Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Sunny morning in the hop yard.

We checked out the hop plants in Wooster this morning and they  are starting so show some good vertical growth!

After our first week of pest sampling we have seen no sign of two-spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae) or hop aphid (Phorodon humuli). Michigan hop researchers and growers have reported signs of downy mildew in their fields (MSU hop update) and we are keeping our eyes open for signs of the disease as well.

Have a hoppy day!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Andrea's field work has begun!

Hello everybody!  My last post was way back in the fall when I joined the ALE lab as a new Masters student.  Things have been going great and I now have a project in the works.  I am interested in how landscape composition and management practices affect the natural enemies found in vegetable crops, specifically sweet corn and summer squash.  I am also sampling for long-legged flies (a type of predatory fly that is rather ubiquitous) to see if they can be a bioindicator group of the natural enemies in agroecosystems.

A long-legged fly (Charles Ray, Auburn University;

And now that summer is here, field work is officially under way!  I spent last week deploying traps at 16 field sites throughout northeastern Ohio.  The three types of traps I am using are pitfall traps (a cup of water in the ground with soapy water to keep the critters from crawling back out):

.... white pan traps (flies are particularly attracted to white):

... and yellow sticky traps (flying insects are attracted to the yellow card and get stuck in the sticky goo on the surface of the card):

 These three traps are clustered together at four plots within the crop:

This week I am going around to my sites again to gather the traps up and see what types of insects I caught.  Hopefully I got some interesting stuff; I shall keep everyone posted!