Episode 4

Published on:

3rd Mar 2022

Integrated Pest Management of Lygus Bugs and Pea Leaf Weevil with Héctor Cárcamo, Ph.D.

Dr. Héctor Cárcamo is a senior research scientist at the Lethbridge Research and Development Center in Alberta which is part of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Hector’s work focuses on developing integrated pest management strategies for insect pests in crops such as faba beans, field peas, canola, and some forage crops. He helps growers develop management strategies and looks for ways to reduce reliance on chemistry. 

This episode focuses on two pulse crop pests in particular: lygus bugs and pea leaf weevils. We also talk more generally about biological control of insect pests including predators, parasites, and trap crops. Héctor shares that research suggests that some pests, if the populations are managed, can actually improve crop performance. 

“If you have a few insect pests on the crop, you actually can stimulate the plant because we have seen a bit of a response where you have a few insects on the plant and you actually get more yield compared to a plant that has no insects at all.” - Dr. Héctor Cárcamo

An overpopulation of pests will of course affect yield but also and sometimes more importantly it will affect quality and flavor. Héctor suggests that pests are meant to be managed not eliminated. A part from the benefit of the plants being stimulated, some of these insects provide a link in the food chain for other species useful in providing biodiversity. 

“My advice for growers in general is you have to be informed about the entomology, you know, the insects that are there and find out as much information as you can in terms of how you maximize the design of your farm.” -Dr. Héctor Cárcamo

This Week on Growing Pulse Crops:

  • Meet Dr. Héctor Cárcamo, a senior research scientist at the Lethbridge Research and Development Center in Alberta which is part of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
  • Discover the life cycle of  lygus bugs and pea leaf weevils that producers might face and different techniques used to manage their populations
  • Learn more by contacting Dr. Carcamo on Twitter @hectorcarabido

Growing Pulse Crops Podcast is hosted by Tim Hammerich of the Future of Agriculture Podcast.

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About the Podcast

Growing Pulse Crops
The science and business of farming field peas, chickpeas, and lentils
This show features the latest in research, agronomy, and economics of pulse crops (peas, chickpeas, lentils, etc.).

Demand for these nutrient-dense, high-protein foods continues to grow. There is also interest from farmers to include more pulses into diverse rotations for benefits like nitrogen fixation and soil health.

But the industry continues to face challenges, and we are eager to address these head on. So if you’re a pulse grower or in any way interested in these important crops, hit subscribe and stay tuned for future episodes. We’ll be back with plenty of information about challenges pulse farmers are facing throughout the U.S. and what solutions are working.

Brought to you by the Pulse Crops Working Group with support from the North Central IPM Center and USDA NIFA.

About your host

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Tim Hammerich

I share stories about agriculture, agtech, and agribusiness on podcasts and radio.