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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SUNFLOWER GERMPLASM DEVELOPMENT FOR IMPROVED INSECT AND DISEASE RESISTANCE

Location: Sunflower Research

Title: Integrated Pest Management of Sunflower Insect Pests in the Northern Great Plains

Authors
item Knodel, Janet -
item Charlet, Laurence
item Gavloski, John -

Submitted to: North Dakota State University Cooperative Extension Bulletin
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: December 14, 2009
Publication Date: February 1, 2010
Repository URL: http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/plantsci/pests/e1457.pdf
Citation: Knodel, J.J., Charlet, L.D., Gavloski, J. 2010. Integrated Pest Management of Sunflower Insect Pests in the Northern Great Plains. North Dakota State University Extension Service Bulletin E-1457. 20 p.

Interpretive Summary: Cultivated sunflowers are native to North America and include 50 species in the genus Helianthus. Because sunflowers are native, associated insects have coevolved with the plants for centuries. A number of insects made the transition from the wild plant type to the cultivated plant to feed and develop. These species affect the producers' ability to increase seed production and thus have become economic pests. In the major sunflower-producing areas of the Dakotas, Minnesota and Manitoba, approximately 15 species of sunflower insects can cause plant injury and economic loss, depending on the severity of infestation. However, during any one growing season, only a few species may be numerous enough to warrant control measures. The sunflower insects of major importance in the northern Great Plains have been sunflower midge, sunflower beetle, sunflower stem weevil, red sunflower seed weevil, and the banded sunflower moth. Tarnished plant bugs also have been an economic problem for the confection and hulling sunflower seed market. Sunflowers can be a high-risk crop because of potential losses from diseases, insects, birds and weeds. These potential risks require that growers follow integrated pest management (IPM) practices. IPM is a sustainable approach to managing pests by combining biological, cultural, physical and chemical tools in a way that minimizes economic, health and environmental risks and maintains pest populations below levels that cause unacceptable losses to crop quality or yield. The concept of IPM is based on the fact that many factors interact to influence the abundance of a pest. Control methods vary in effectiveness, but integration of various population-regulating factors can minimize the number of pests in sunflowers and reduce the cost of managing pest populations without unnecessary crop losses. IPM also recommends the judicious use of chemical pesticides when needed and suggests ways to maximize effectiveness and minimize impact on nontarget organisms and the environment. In this publication, we provide information on the identification, life cycle, damage and pest management strategies for the insect pests of sunflowers in the northern Great Plains of the United States and southern Canada.

Technical Abstract: Sunflowers are native to North America and include 50 species in the genus Helianthus. Thus, associated insects have coevolved with the plants for centuries. A number of these insect species have made the transition from the wild plants to the cultivated plant to feed and develop. These species affect the sunflower producers' ability to increase seed production and thus have become economic pests. In the major sunflower-producing areas of the Dakotas, Minnesota and Manitoba, approximately 15 sunflower insect species can cause plant injury and economic loss, depending on the infestation severity. However, during any one growing season, only a few may become numerous enough to warrant control measures. The sunflower insects of major importance in the northern Great Plains have been sunflower midge, Contarinia schulzi Gagne, sunflower beetle, Zygogramma exclamationis (Fabricus), sunflower stem weevil, Cylindrocopturus adspersus (LeConte), red sunflower seed weevil, Smicronyx fulvus LeConte, and the banded sunflower moth, Cochylis hospes Walsingham. Tarnished plant bugs (Lygus spp.) also have been an economic problem for the confection and hulling sunflower seed market. Sunflowers can be a high-risk crop because of potential losses from diseases, insects, birds and weeds. These potential risks require that growers follow integrated pest management (IPM) practices to minimize economic, health and environmental risks and maintain pest populations below levels that cause unacceptable losses. Control methods vary in effectiveness, but integration of different population-regulating factors can minimize the pest density in sunflower and reduce the cost of managing pest populations without unnecessary crop losses. IPM also includes the judicious use of chemical pesticides when needed and suggests ways to maximize effectiveness and minimize impact on nontarget organisms and the environment. In this publication, we provide information on the identification, life cycle, damage and pest management strategies for the major insect pests of sunflower in the northern Great Plains of the United States and southern Canada.

Last Modified: 8/30/2014