Trap Cropping for Sustainable Crop Production Dr. Ayanava Majumdar Extension Entomologist Alabama Cooperative Extension System Gulf Coast Research & Extension Center 8300 State Hwy 104, Fairhope, Alabama 36532 Cell phone: 251-331-8416 PART 3A (discussion on key insect behavioral concepts)
Host plant quality hypo.: plant species can interact in a way to reduce attractiveness to pest (Theunissen 1994)
IPM Era (1970-1990s) Natural enemies hypo. (Root 1973): cultural control tactics can conserve or increase natural enemies (Hummel et al. 2002, Peachey et al. 2002, Schmidt et al. 2004, Carmona & Landis 2003) Diverse background moderates insect behavior (1960 – 1985): insects get confused or separated! Post-IPM Era (1990-) Pre-IPM Era (-1970s) Resource concentration hypo.: herbivores (=pests) remain in an area where essential resources are concentrated (Root 1973)
Trap cropping is the planting of an attractive trap crop to protect the main crop (PAN Germany, 2009). Trap crop may or may not be harvestable.
Trap cropping is a production system that exploits insect behavior by continuously providing food plants in the preferred stage (Grossman 2008)
“ Trap cropping is a special case of multiple cropping.” “ Presence of second crop in the vicinity of principal crop diverts a pest, which would otherwise attack the principal crop” (Van der meer 1981)
Why should you use trap crops? Combined use of cultural control + Insecticides = IPM approach Trap crop New insecticide Corn earworm devastated sunflower (trap crop) but stayed away from peanuts Image source: ICRISAT, India