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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: REFINING THE AREA-WIDE SUPPRESSION OF THE TARNISHED PLANT BUG IN MISSISSIPPI
2010 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
The objective of this cooperative research project is to demonstrate the destruction of wild hosts of the tarnished plant bug (TPB) from field, road, and ditch margins in April and may to reduce populations buildups and prevent it from being an early-season pest of cotton and to evaluate the costs of wild host destruction as compared to benefits in terms of reduces insecticide use for plant bug control.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Selected wild hosts which are preferred reproduction hosts of plant bugs will be selectively sprayed with an herbicide or mowed during April and may in marginal areas around fields, roads, and ditches in a cotton producing area of the Delta measuring 4 x 4 miles. Plant bug populations on the remaining hosts will be measured weekly. Host plant density counts will be taken. Results will be compared to samples from 3 non-treated areas of the same size to measure the impact of the treatments on plant bug populations. Plant bug populations in cotton in the treated and untreated areas will be measured weekly during the growing season. Costs of the treatment and benefits to growers will be calculated from experimental data and from data collected from producers.


3.Progress Report

The experiment evaluated weekly landscape movement and population dynamics of tarnished plant bug, Lygus lineolaris, over a one square mile area in the Mississippi Delta. Over the course of a full calendar year, this survey documented wild host utilization changes and subsequent infestations in agronomic crops. During January and February, tarnished plant bug densities were relatively low across the area. The primary hosts utilized by tarnished plant bug included winter annuals such as henbit and shepherd’s purse. During the late spring and early summer months (March-June), tarnished plant bugs remained on wild hosts such as clovers, geraniums, as well as multiple spring and summer annuals. During July, August, and September, a large percentage of tarnished plant bugs were detected cotton. Other agronomic hosts included soybean, grain sorghum, and field corn. Low populations were found in field corn; however, extremely high densities were found in cotton adjacent to corn. From October through December, populations declined and were found primarily on late summer annuals and some winter annuals. The project was monitored through emails, telephone calls, and site visits.


Last Modified: 10/31/2014
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