Safflower: An Integrated Pest Management Success Story
On the surface, safflower may not seem that important. But according to the Western IPM Center, safflower is actually an important plant for rejuvenating soil health. Safflower has a unique way to lower the salt levels in soil by opening up channels for salt to wash down below the root zone.
However, safflower is extremely vulnerable to lygus bugs, and growers have a hard time protecting the plants. The University of California Cooperate Extension helped a local farmers association develop an effective integrated pest management system. They found that nearby farms were spraying for lygus at different times. As a result, the bugs survived in pockets and quickly repopulated the entire area.
University of California’s solution was one coordinated area-wide spray. This approach protected the safflower and actually reduced the total amount of spraying that the farmers had to do.
Read more about safflower and integrated pest management here!