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Orchard, Specialty, and Cover Crops

Invasive weeds as alternate hosts for the newly introduced cole crop pest Bagrada hilaris

Researchers: Adam Lambert, UCSB & Tom Dudley, UCSB

This project will examine the biology and interactions with weeds of a new invasive insect pest (Bagrada hilaris) of cole crops in Ventura County and provide information for reducing its economic impact on agriculture in the region. Specifically, the project will determine the extent to which invasive mustards in riparian areas, which are alternative hosts for B. hilaris, support bug populations and facilitate the spread of this pest into cropping systems. Bug populations will be monitored on cole crops and weeds adjacent to agricultural fields to evaluate life history characteristics, such as phenology, growth, and reproduction, and population dynamics over the growing season. Cole crops commonly grown in Ventura County will also be evaluated in an agricultural plot at Hansen Agricultural Center to determine their susceptibility to B. hilaris.