Symphylans on small farm in Boring

Asked January 7, 2019, 1:47 PM EST

We are a small 5 acre farm located in Boring. We converted old raspberry/berry fields into mixed veggies in 2017/2018. We are now Certified Naturally grown and would like to incorporate low till methods but obviously will have to till to kill raspberry canes, incorporate amendments and cover crops and possibly keep pests at bay. Especially until we have low till/no-till tools to use. However, many plants were stunted last season. We took soil tests (and read them ourselves) which we do have good to high levels of organic matter, low in N, and others...amended the soil with organic, quality compost, lime, rock dust, worm and compost teas, seaweeds, fish emulsions, and other things. We now are noticing that we may have infestation of symphylans. They seem to be present in most beds where plants were stunted. Any recommendations besides tilling (in spring?) and incorporating Neem oil? Or letting said areas lay fallow or planting barley, oat as I see recommended by OSU. Thanks!

Clackamas County Oregon small farm issues

3 Responses

Thanks for you message. There is going to be a talk on managing symphylans with vegetable crop rotations at the North Willamette Horticulture Society Conference on Wednesday, January 16. I'd recommend coming to the conference to hear the presentation and talk with other farmers. You can find more information about the conference here: http://nwhortsoc.com/

Symphylans have been known to enter farms through off-site compost.

HI Heidi! Thank you for that info! I cannot make that seminar, unfortunately, so would you be able to put me in touch with the speaker of that talk? I looked at the Fall Creek Farm site but cannot really find a contact for the speaker. OR can you point us in another direction to find more info on symphylans? We've researched and there does not seem to be much control for these critters but have had significant stunting of certain crops last season and they may play a major role in that. Thanks for any info!

The speaker for the conference is Jon Umble. Jon is credited with helping write the PNW IPM chapter on symphylans that you can access here: ttps://pnwhandbooks.org/insect/ipm/garden-symphylan

Although Fall Creek Farm and Nursery doesn't have an email address, their Oregon phone number is 541-937-2973, and you should be able to contact him through that route. Alternatively, you could call one of the conference organizers, whose names and phone numbers are listed on the event website: https://nwhortsoc.com/?page_id=15