Project ID

E2010-18

Abstract

This study found that organic fields had a greater abundance of naturally occurring entomopathogenic fungi (EPF) than conventional fields in 2011, but that no differences were present in 2012. Conventional producers who used organic fertilizers on their fields had greater abundance of one type of EPF, Metarhizium, in their farm soils than other conventional producers. This suggests that organic practices in corn and soybean fields, and the application of organic fertilizers in conventional fields, could bolster the abundance of naturally occurring EPF.

Key Question

Is organic field soil a more suitable environment for pathogens of insects when compared to that in conventional fields?

Findings

This study found that organic fields had a greater abundance of naturally occurring entomopathogenic fungi (EPF) than conventional fields in 2011, but that no differences were present in 2012. Conventional producers who used organic fertilizers on their fields had greater abundance of one type of EPF, Metarhizium, in their farm soils than other conventional producers. This suggests that organic practices in corn and soybean fields, and the application of organic fertilizers in conventional fields, could bolster the abundance of naturally occurring EPF.

Principal Investigator(s)

Aaron Gassmann

Co-Investigator(s)

Erin Hodgson, Eric Clifton

Year of Grant Completion

2013

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