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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Related Topics

Research Project: Developing Integrated Weed and Insect Management Systems for Efficient and Sustainable Sugarcane Production

Location: Sugarcane Research Unit

2013 Annual Report

1. Insecticide for reducing West Indian canefly damage to sugarcane. Sugarcane in Louisiana is attacked by a number of insects representing several important groups (e.g., beetles, moth stem borers, and sap-feeders). The sap-feeders are the most diverse group representing six species:.
1)aphids (yellow sugarcane aphid and sugarcane aphid),.
2)planthoppers (sugarcane delphacid and West Indian canefly), and.
3)Pulvinaria spp. (pink mealybug and soft scale). In 2012, unusually high numbers of West Indian canefly infested much of the sugarcane grown in Louisiana. In response to grower concerns, two experiments were established by Sugarcane Research Unit scientists at Houma, Louisiana, to identify effective and safe insecticides to control this insect as well as to determine yield losses ascribed to canefly infestations. Utilizing control data generated from these two studies and other studies, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) successfully obtained a Section 18 Crisis Exemption for the insecticide imidacloprid. Approximately 16,000 acres of sugarcane were treated over the 15 days that the Crisis Exemption was valid. Results from trials showed that canefly feeding resulted in an approximate 23% reduction in sugar yield. An economic analysis conducted by the LSU AgCenter showed a gain of $397/acre resulting from insecticide treatment with a total economic gain for the 16,000 acres that were treated of $6.5 million. These data, plus additional data generated by cooperators, was used as the basis for submission of a Section 18 Specific Exemption by the LDAF for imidacloprid for canefly control during the 2013 growing season which was granted by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Review Publications
Dalley, C.D., Viator, R.P., Richard, E.P. 2013. Integrated management of bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) in sugarcane. Weed Science. 61(3):482-490. Available DOI:

Last Modified: 9/1/2014
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