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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Interplanting of Alternative Host Plants for Enhancing Lepidoptera on Cotton

Authors
item Blanco, Carlos - DOW AGROSCIENCES, INC.
item Lopez, Juan DE Dios
item Latheef, Mohamed

Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: January 11, 2002
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: An important aspect of the development of new insecticides for controlling worms in cotton is their evaluation for efficacy in small plot tests. A major problem in these small plot tests is the lack of sufficient worm infestation to detect differences in efficacy when comparing different insecticides. A possible solution to this problem is the interplanting of highly preferred host plants in the cotton plots to attract the desired pest worm species. Velvetleaf was effective in increasing infestation of tobacco budworm and cabbage looper, but it also increased the number of whiteflies in cotton, which was undesirable for tests on worm control. Garbanzo beans attracted more tobacco budworms and beet armyworms and less cabbage loopers, but not other undesirable pest species. Neither alternate plant decreased cotton yield. On this basis, garbanzo beans appear to be the best alternate host to interplant with cotton to increase worm infestation in small cotton insecticide evaluation plots.

Technical Abstract: Velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti Medikus) and/or garbanzo beans (Cicer arietinum L.) plants were interplanted into cotton with the aim of attracting more lepidopterous pests into research plots. The use of velvetleaf proved to be effective in obtaining more Heliothis virescens (F.) and Trichoplusia ni (Hubner) pressure on cotton plants but since pests such as whiteflies and bugs were more abundant on these plants, there is a potential detrimental effect of attracting undesirable insects to experimental trials. Garbanzo beans attracted high numbers of Heliothis virescens and Spodoptera exigua (Hubner) and low numbers of Trichoplusia ni. Experimental cotton plots interplanted with velvetleaf and garbanzo beans attracted the whole worm spectrum described before, while not lowering yields when compared to cotton alone, but still had the potential of creating a good environment for undesirable insect species. Cotton interplanted with garbanzo beans appears to be the best of these methods for increasing larval pressure in research plots.

Last Modified: 12/26/2014
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