The Brassica Pest Collaborative (BPC) is a project funded by Northeast-SARE that brings together Extension educators and researchers from UMass, UConn, UNH and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County to collaborate on research and education to improve management of this suite of insect pests. Our educational efforts will help growers increase their knowledge of brassica pest biology and confidence to implement best management practices by 1) participating in web and phone based educational opportunities with experts from around the region and 2) attending field day demonstrations where key individuals will share their experiences implementing new and alternative control strategies. The proposed research will evaluate the efficacy of tactics like mulches, netting, and conservation biocontrol to combat multiple pests, reduce overall pest damage, and increase yield. Constraints like labor and time will be addressed by using cost to benefit analyses to help growers to identify new ways to increase profits growing brassicas. By coordinating research efforts, we are able to tackle a wide range of topics with a high degree of rigor, as treatments and protocols can be standardized and results can be considered together across site-years.
Our project goal is to work with brassica growers to adopt ecological pest control strategies including scouting, cultural practices, conservation biocontrol, and use of reduced-risk pesticides and that at least 50 growers are successful in reducing crop damage by 10% or more, increasing marketable yield and therefore revenue by $500,000.
Fact sheets, research reports, webinars, and other resources from this project are compiled on the Brassica Pest Collaborative website.