Beth von Gunten
Ventura County, California
>Date: Tue, 27 Jan 1998 00:01:54 -0800 (PST)
>To: email@example.com (Beth von Gunten)
>From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Rincon-Vitova Insectaries)
>Subject: Re: inquery re: vacuuming bugs: followup
>Re: Steve Diver's reply to Lon J. Rombough about Biobased Pest Management
>and vacuuming pests like we did at Naturfarm.
>Im not aware of anyone else developing a vacuum machine that collects the
>pests in bags for study, sorting, harvesting parasites and/or disposal like
>Everett Dietrick did during the Naturfarm Conversion Project. This is
>different from other vacuums like the "Salad Vac" promoted a few years ago
>in Salinas valley that chewed up all the insects and sent them out the back
>with potential of spreading diseases. Since the Naturfarm conversion study
>finished in 1994 we have loaned out the scooter vac with the 6 foot boom and
>3 bags to a couple of growers. Allan Bornt used it a bit in Holtsville one
>season when whitefly were overwhelming his alfalfa cover crop
>interplantings. It has been parked in our garage for over a year. The
>academic community did not find the Naturfarm conversion report substantive
>to their standards. No researcher has ever expressed any interest to us in
>investigating our vacuum strategy.
>Our new Dietrick Institute of Applied Insect Ecology has another grant to
>recruit/train cooperators in agroecology strategies for pollution prevention
>and after two years we just today recruited a cooperator with a farm similar
>to the challenge at Naturfarm who appears interested to apply the strategy
>we used at Naturfarm in large-scale lettuce/brocolli type of production near
>Santa Maria. If they will install covercrop strips and if they do become
>trap crops for pests, we will dust off the scooter vac and haul it to that
>farm. And we will do another case study report like we did of Naturfarm so
>others can learn what we tried and what happened.
>It is gratifying to hear about people reading the Naturfarm report.
>Naturfarm Foundation was going to reprint the report, but I have gotten the
>impression it isnt going to happen. The new management does not think it is
>a scientific enough study and presentation. We think that it is an
>acceptably appropriate method to observe and describe diverse phenomena of
>an agroecology strategy creating an increasingly complex ecosystem.
>If our career advancement depended on isolating variables and inventing
>linear graphs to evaluate single factor interventions, we would never have
>done or said anything about Naturfarm. If even the new management at
>Naturfarm is uncomfortable publicizing what we did there and has some
>apparent difficulty fully appreciating the nature and significance of the
>knowledge gained from Everett's guidance and observations there during the
>transition, then no surprise that there's nobody else wanting to try it. It
>is pioneering work and it helps to have somebody involved with Everett's
>experience and understanding of agroecology, but if growers are not willing
>to install and work with beneficial insect refugia interplanting strategies,
>then how are pest control specialists going to acquire knowledge of how they
>work and how to manage them?
>>>Comments: Authenticated sender is <email@example.com>
>>>From: "Steve Diver" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>>>To: "Lon J. Rombough" <email@example.com>
>>>Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 16:02:29 +0000
>>>Subject: Re: Biobased Pest Management
>>>One of the most impressive uses of insect vacumns for bio-based
>>>pest control that I know about is the integration of insect
>>>vacumns to collect beneficial insects from intentionally planted
>>>strips of perennial legumes like alfalfa and clover in vegetable
>>>fields that function as insect refugia, followed by augmentative release
>>>of the biocontrol agents into adjoining fields of vegetable crops.
>>>This was done at NaturFarm in Lompoc, CA by the biocontrol
>>>pioneer Everett Dietrick. His daughter Jan Dietrick presented this
>>>field work at the 1995 Acres USA conference in St. Louis, and it is
>>>briefly summarized in a 39-page report titled "Biological Control of
>>>Insect Pests Using Pest Break Strips: A New Dimension to Integrated
>>>Pest Management." The report was written by Everertt Dietrick, John
>>>Phillips, and Joel Grossman, and is a publication of The NaturFarm
>>>At NaturFarm, they rely on the pest break strip--which are
>>>planted at 350 foot intervals between fields of commercial organic
>>>vegetables--as the primary means of insect control. Botanical
>>>pesticides are not used on the farm. Instead, biological control through
>>>farmscaping is the goal.
>>>Selective insect vacumning can take different approaches based on
>>>the circumstance; i.e., (1) to collect beneficials and release them into
>>>vegetable fields to outnumber crops pests, and (2) to collect all the
>>>bugs in pest break strips or field borders...followed by sorting out the
>>>bad bugs to reduce their populations numbers....followed by
>>>re-releasing the beneficials back into the insect strips.
>>>> Question: Has anyone done anything in furthering devlopment of bug
>>>> vacuuming systems? I know some are used in California berry fields,
>>>> but it seems like there would be a BIG advantage to using them on many
>>>> other crops. Stuff deleted.....
>>>> -Lon Rombough
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>Rincon-Vitova Insectaries, Inc.
>Ventura, CA 93002
>805-643-5407 FAX 805-643-6267
>Dietrick Institute for Applied Insect Ecology
>PO Box 2506
>Ventura, CA 93002
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