Agriculture: Cole Crops Pest Management Guidelines

Heading to Harvest

This year-round IPM program covers the major pests of cole crops in the Central Valley, Central and Southern Coast, and southern desert of California.

About Heading to Harvest

What should you be doing during this time?

Monitor the presence and abundance of weeds. Keep records for next season's management.

Monitor for pests and their damage:

  • Aphids (cabbage aphid and other aphids)
  • Beet armyworm
  • Cabbage looper
  • Imported cabbageworm (except in southern desert)
  • Leafrollers
  • Sweetpotato whitefly
  • Thrips

Manage according to the Pest Management Guidelines.

Monitor for and identify crop quality issues and note these for next year's management.

  • Bacterial head rot in broccoli
  • Downy mildew in broccoli and cauliflower
  • White stem in broccoli
  • Abiotic disorders:
    • Broccoli brown bead
    • Calcium deficiency in cauliflower
    • Cracked stem
    • Hollow stem in broccoli

If necessary, make nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium fertilizer decisions on soil tests; however, these are generally not needed late in the crop cycle. Base nitrogen fertilizer applications on quantities of residual soil nitrate in the soil.

Clean harvest equipment and tractors before they enter the field to prevent the spread of soilborne pathogens, weed seeds, and perennial propagules. Screen surface water sources of irrigation to avoid spreading weed seeds.

Note the presence and abundance of disease from soilborne pathogens at harvest for planning next season's management.

Examine roots of stunted plants for the brown, egg-filled bodies of cyst nematodes and galling on the roots from root-knot nematodes.

Text Updated: 12/20