Shielding cucurbit crops for resilient agroecosystems

Grants and Contracts Details


Focus Areas: 1) Research in plant breeding, genetics, and genomics to improve crop characteristics (25%); 2) Efforts to identify and address threats from pests and diseases, including threats to specialty crop pollinators (25%); 3) Efforts to improve production efficiency, productivity, and profitability over the long term (including specialty crop policy and marketing) (25%); and 4) New innovations and technology, including improved mechanization (25%) propose to develop a stakeholder-driven robust system for cucurbit crop production in the eastern half of the U.S. and help growers implement these new approaches. Specifically, we aim to mitigate environmental extremes, conserve soil quality, suppress key pests and diseases, safeguard pollinators, and increase profits. Looking toward the long-term, we will also investigate the ecology of the bacterial wilt pathogen, Erwinia tracheiphila, to provide ecology-guided disease management strategies. The project has two centerpieces for outreach. One is the mobile "app" Bees, Bugs and Blights in Cucurbit Crops, that provides for in-field identification of pests and on-line sources of information. The other is the online Community of Practice, Integrated Crop Production for Cucurbit Growers, which will function as a learning community. Virtual field days, webinars, on-farm demonstration trials, and presentations at state and regional winter meetings round out the outreach plans.
Effective start/end date9/1/128/31/15


  • Iowa State University: $175,836.00


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