A new invasive pest is spreading across Sunbelt farmland, attacking Brassica crops such as bok choy, mustard greens, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli.
New Mexico State University researchers have joined others from California and Arizona looking for a means to control this insect, which could devastate some of the niche-market crops raised by New Mexico’s small-scale and organic growers.
“The Bagrada bug was first found in New Mexico in 2010 in Las Cruces and has since migrated as far north as Santa Fe County,” said Tessa Grasswitz, NMSU Extension integrated pest management specialist and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s state IPM coordinator. “This insect is native to southern Africa and has recently spread to parts of southern Europe and Asia, becoming a serious problem in India and elsewhere.”
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