Irrigated Agricultural Entomology Program

The Irrigated Agriculture Entomology Laboratory is an important applied research resource against crop-damaging insects. OSU Extension entomologist Silvia Rondon, who heads the lab, is leading the battle against the potato psyllid, which injects potato plants with a lethal bacterium that causes zebra chip disease, which discolors the flesh of potatoes and makes them unmarketable.

Rondon is partnering with OSU colleagues Stuart Reitz and Molly Engle in a collaboration with other Pacific Northwest university and industry partners on a five-year study funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture focused on the disease, which was unknown in the region until 2011, when a surprise outbreak sent tremors through growers of the Northwest’s most valuable vegetable crop.

Our long-term goal is to transfer the knowledge developed through our research program to growers in the Pacific Northwest area. Our main responsibility is to establish a research and extension program on irrigated crops in eastern Oregon. Research includes biological control, insect biology and ecology, and population dynamics; basic and applied field and greenhouse production.

Rondon’s research group, which includes undergraduates and graduate students, also conducting lygus, thrips, mites, and wireworm trials; a seed corn maggot onion trial and for the first time, a carrot trial. For more information, contact Silvia Rondon.