Vegetables (Utah)
Coordinated by Lori Spears (lori.spears@usu.edu), Cooperative Agricultural
Pest Survey (CAPS) Coordinator, Utah State University

Background

Utah Agricultural Statistics (2012) reported 6,119 bearing acres of vegetable crops being grown on 790 farms and with a market value of over $19 million. Small acreage producers for farmers’ markets and community supported agriculture (CSA) operations, however, were not included in the censuses, nor were home garden producers of vegetables. Commercial and non-commercial vegetable producers will benefit from access to updated and new information on invasive and endemic vegetable pests.

Vegetables
Vegetables. Source:Pixabay

Objective

The primary goals of the Utah Vegetable Pest Program are to:
  • Monitor vegetable fields for invasive and endemic pest threats.
  • Update and/or create new pest detection, identification, and management guidelines, including creating an IPM Elements specific for vegetables in Utah.
  • Select and mentor at least two undergraduate summer interns in pest identification and monitoring, and IPM practices.
  • Identify key stakeholders to use iPIPE.
The activities that will be required to accomplish each of the identified goals will help growers be informed, including growers in distant parts of the state (central and southern Utah), of emerging and threatening pests to vegetable crops, and ultimately contribute to a national, coordinated, and sustained pest information delivery system – the iPIPE platform.

Utah State University Extension   Utah Pests Logo

Situation

In Utah, current IPM challenges in vegetable crops include new diseases being introduced to the state via seed and transplants, and growers not being aware of the symptoms associated with these new diseases. On average, the Utah Plant Pest Diagnostic Lab (UPPDL) at Utah State University (USU) identifies 1-2 new vegetable viruses each year, and bacterial and fungal diseases have come to the forefront with the increased rain and thunderstorms during the last three summers. The occurrence of bacterial spot in pepper and tomato two years ago led to yield losses of $6,000-6,400 per acre. Watermelon mosaic virus occurred across the state for the last four years and resulted in 50% or more yield loss because growers could not sell symptomatic fruit. 


Important Pests

Sweet Corn: Brown marmorated stink bug (all crops except onions and potatoes), Corn earworm.
Onions: Onion thrips, Leafminer; Bacterial spot.
Potatoes: Potato psyllids (vector), Tuber flea beetle; Candidatus Liberibacter (potato, tomato, pepper).
Pumpkins: Aphids (vector), Squash bug; Watermelon mosaic virus (squash, pumpkin).
Tomatoes: Tomato russet mite; 
Powdery mildew 
(all crops except corn).
Squash and melons: Thrips (vector), Squash bug, Cucumber beetle; 
Tomato spotted wilt virus 
(all crops except corn).
Beans: Mexican bean beetle.

Mexican bean beetle
Mexican bean beetle (Epilachna varivestis) Mulsant, 1850
Eugene E. NelsonBugwood.org