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Abstract

Organic farming prohibits use of synthetic agrochemicals and encourages use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) methods. States in the Southeastern US generally lag behind the rest of the country in organic vegetable production partly because of high insect pressures that make it difficult to grow vegetables without pesticides. This study on summer squash (Cucurbita pepo), grown using organic management practices, was conducted at a research station located in Mills River, North Carolina. The objectives of the study were to assess insect population dynamics and to evaluate performance of three OMRI-approved bio-pesticides: Azadirachtin, Pyrethrin and Spinosad against major insect pests of three summer squash varieties (Gentry, Spineless Beauty, and Zephyr). The highest populations of leafhoppers and thrips were recorded in early and late July. Squash varieties significantly influenced the populations of leafhoppers, thrips, aphids, and cucumber beetles. Bio-pesticides performed similarly against the major insect pests of squash recorded in this study

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