Welcome to the Groves Lab

Our research and extension group is located in the Department of Entomology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Our program is centered on the ecology and management of insects of commercial and fresh market vegetable crops. Specifically the focus of our research and extension program is:
  • Research to meet the current and emerging challenges of Wisconsin’s commercial and fresh market vegetable growers and producers.
  • Extension education to deliver research-based information to the stakeholders and the public.
  • Improving sustainability of commercial and fresh market vegetable production in Wisconsin through research-based IPM practices.

What is vegetable entomology?

Traditional vegetable crop entomology programs focus on pests and pest control. As the concept of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) develops, new ways of understanding the agricultural landscape have become important. Part of this new understanding is taking into consideration that the agricultural field is an ecosystem, despite the intensive manipulation that goes into most farm land. It is important to remember that pollinators, a key group of insects necessary for most vegetable productivity, are vulnerable to many sprayed insecticides. Similarly, natural enemies (natural predators of common insect pests) are important allies to have in the field, and they too are sensitive to insecticides. By pursuing an IPM strategy, one that takes into account how many insects interact in the agricultural ecosystem, it is possible to effectively manage pests while reducing unwanted consequences.

Information & Resources

Crops
It is estimated that about 1,500 small-acreage producers grow well over 50 crops in Wisconsin. Information on many of the crops grown in Wisconsin and common pests is included on this page.
Pests
Here you will find information on many of the common arthropod pests encountered by Wisconsin vegetable producers and home gardeners.
Pollinators
There are many different types of pollinators in the world, including flies, beetles, butterflies, birds, and bats. North America has more than 3,600 species of wild bees, many of which are solitary and soil-nesting. These bees can enhance or even surpass the crop pollination provided by honey bees. Click here for more information on native and domestic pollinators.
Natural enemies
Although birds, mammals, frogs, and other higher animals can be important as natural enemies, they can rarely be effectively managed for biological control. These animals lie outside the scope of this discussion, which deals primarily with the predatory or parasitic insects of pest insects and mites.
Integrated Pest Management
A program started in the 1960’s, IPM encourages the development of pest control methods that reduce dependence upon those insecticides that have health or environmental risks.  It coordinates the use of pest biology, environmental information, and multiple pest management tactics to prevent unacceptable levels of pest damage by the most economical means.
Summer Field Trial Reports
Annual reports for summer field research trials, generally conducted to assess pesticide efficacy and develop improved pest management recommendations, are conducted by this lab and are available below from 2002 to present.
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