Like years past, as soon as the plants get in the field we are scouting for pests. For the first ten minutes of everyday, the entire staff walks the farm and scouts for damage. I started doing this this year for a couple reasons.
- It teaches everyone to be aware of their surroundings at all times.
- It drives the point home that the plants are our #1 priority while at work.
- It also teaches everyone how to identify pest damage so they can be my eyes and ears while I am doing other things.
So far, we have seen ten billion potato beetles that over wintered from last year. Danil doesn’t have the heart to kill them so he takes them hostage and releases them in my hands to do the dirty deed of ending their life. I am trying not to worry about the rising army but know things will get real once the little suckers start reproducing. After talking with our neighbors, Matt Turino from the U of I Student Sustainable Farm, we have decided to play it cool until they start reproducing. Then it’s game on!! Danil might have to take that day off :).
Aside from the potato beetles we haven’t seen much damage. Justin spotted something eating the new growth of our pepper plants. After pulling off one of the leaves and doing an ole google search we quickly found our answer ……. From a previous blog post ……. Of mine ……. Highlighted on the internet. Hahahaha, this is a prime example of why it’s a good idea to keep detailed records of previous years. The damage matched perfectly and we were able to tackle the problem immediately. Pesky Cutworms!