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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Estimate of Forage Yield Loss in Eastern Gamagrass Due to Shoot Boring Insects

Authors
item Springer, Timothy
item Sims, Phillip
item Gillen, Robert

Submitted to: American Forage and Grassland Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: May 5, 2004
Publication Date: June 12, 2004
Citation: Springer, T.L., Sims, P.L., Gillen, R.L. 2004. Estimate of forage yield loss in eastern gamagrass due to shoot boring insects. Proceedings American Forage and Grassland Council. 13:333-336.

Interpretive Summary: Eastern gamagrass [Tripsacum dactyloides (L.) L.] has long been recognized as a productive and palatable forage grass species that has become more important in forage and livestock production systems over the last 25 years. As the acreage of eastern gamagrass increases in the United States the incidence of disease and insect pests has become more evident. Insects, like the maize billbug [Sphenophorus maidis (Chittenden)] and the southern cornstalk borer [Diatraea crambidoides (Grote)] commonly found in maize, are causing serious problems in eastern gamagrass. The objective of this investigation was to estimate the forage yield loss in eastern gamagrass due to these two insects. Using data collected at Woodward, Oklahoma on insect numbers per plant crown and average shoot weight at harvest we have estimated the forage yield loss due to these insects. Potential forage yield loss may average as high as 555 lbs/acre of dry forage. The estimated economic losses in eastern gamagrass forage production would range from about $3.00 to $23.00/acre (estimating hay at $40.00/ton) given the range in insect numbers seen at Woodward. The estimated average economic loss would be about $11.00/acre for these two insects if they were present in average numbers.

Technical Abstract: Eastern gamagrass [Tripsacum dactyloides (L.) L.] has high forage production and high quality forage that can be used for pasture, hay, and ensilage. Two insects are known to infest the shoots of eastern gamagrass. These are the southern cornstalk borer [Diatraea crambidoides (Grote)] and the maize billbug [Sphenophorus maidis (Chittenden)]. Using data collected at Woodward, Oklahoma on insect numbers per plant crown and average shoot weight at harvest, we estimated forage yield loss due to these insects. Potential forage yield loss may average as high as 555 lbs/acre of dry forage.

Last Modified: 10/23/2014
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