Management of arthropod pests in agronomic field crops and sweet potatoes remains a significant issue confronting farmers in the southeastern US. Currently, farmers in the region depend on conventional pesticides and genetically engineered (GE) crops to control pests, minimize crop damage, and maintain profitable yields. Despite improvements in conventional pesticide and GE crop specificity, further reduction in pesticide use will be necessary to improve the sustainability of crop production across the region.

To address these key challenges confronting agricultural production in the region, the Huseth Lab works to blend basic and applied research approaches to advance sustainable field crop and sweet potato production practices.

Research in the Precision Pest Ecology Program fits within four intersecting thematic areas:

  1. Understanding the effects of changing landscape composition and configuration on pests with different life histories.
  2. Documenting negative impacts pesticide use across multiple levels of ecological organization.
  3. Integrating insecticide resistance management and geospatial crop production data to advance understanding of spatiotemporal insecticide resistance selection and refuge patches in agroecosystems.
  4. Adapting existing precision agricultural technologies to more effectively document and manage insect pest problems in agricultural fields and reduce unnecessary pesticide inputs.