Institute of Horticultural Production Systems Research Research projects
Promotion of functional biodiversity to control the cabbage whitefly.

Promotion of functional biodiversity to control the cabbage whitefly.

Led by:  PD Dr. R. Meyhöfer
Team:  S. Laurenz
Year:  2013
Date:  04-09-13
Funding:  BOELN-BLE
Duration:  2013-2016

The aim of the current sub-project is to improve plant protection in cabbage growing in the field with new approaches to promote natural enemies. This will be done with a newly developed flowering strip, which is adapted to the system cabbage – cabbage white fly and its antagonists, will be developed and optimised. Additionally a banker plant system will be included to increase natural enemy abundance and activity substantially. In the first year an intensive monitoring for beneficials on Brussels sprouts will be done nationwide, to get an exhaustive overview of the occurring species and their importance. To boost antagonists relevant to the project aim, i.e. integrated control of the cabbage whitefly, two types of flowering strips with different plant species containing banker plants, flowering plants and ground covering plants, will be developed. The resulting two flowering strip types will be evaluated in field experiments using two different strip sizes relative to the growing area. By these optimisation steps only beneficials will be promoted, which are important for this system but not pests such as pest butterflies. Finally the optimised flowering strip will be tested for practical suitability and ease of integration to commercial growers using biological growing systems.