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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: A Cultural Method for the Area-Wide Control of Tarnished Plant Bug in Cotton

Authors
item Abel, Craig
item Snodgrass, Gordon
item Gore, Jeffrey

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: April 13, 2007
Publication Date: June 22, 2007
Citation: Abel, C.A., G.L. Snodgrass and J. Gore. 2007. A cultural method for the area-wide control of tarnished plant bug Lygus lineolaris in cotton, pp. 497-504. In Vreysen, M.J.B., A.S. Robinson, and J. Hendrichs (Eds.), Area-Wide Control of Insect Pests: From Research to Field Implementation. Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.

Interpretive Summary: In the Mid-South area of the United States, a low-cost method was developed and implemented for controlling an economically important pest of cotton. The method consists of one properly-timed application of an herbicide that selectively kills key spring broadleaf plant hosts of the tarnished plant bug. When the method is applied to 23 km2 areas, numbers of tarnished plant bug adults and nymphs were greatly reduced so that fewer applications of insecticides were needed during the cotton growing season. Growers are already adopting the program at a rate of 86% in the Mississippi Delta according to a survey conducted in 2004. This survey demonstrated grower adoption at 33% in Arkansas, a state where the program was being demonstrated for the first time in 2004. Adoption of the technology is likely at 33% in Louisiana and Tennessee, states where the technology was first demonstrated in 2003 and 2004, respectively. Across these four states, using results from the survey and the National Agricultural Statistics Service estimates for cotton production in 2004, the technology was applied to approximately 595,142 ha of cotton resulting in an estimated cost savings of $8.7 million in 2004. An environmental impact study conducted by Louisiana State University, detected no-to-extremely low levels of herbicide residue in run-off water from conducting the program. A negligible environmental cost when compared to the blanket applications of insecticides over large acreages the technology will prevent. The authors are currently expanding adoption of the technology and are researching the use of a fungal entomopathogen, sterile males, and parasitoids to augment or replace the use of herbicides.

Technical Abstract: Broadleaf weeds found in marginal areas by fields, roads, and ditches were controlled with the herbicides Trimec7 or Strike 3TM in 23 km2 areas of the Mississippi Delta in March or April of 1999 - 2004. Cotton fields in the treated and untreated areas were sampled for tarnished plant bugs weekly during June and July of all years. Overall mean numbers of tarnished plant bug adults and nymphs were significantly lower in cotton in the treated areas. The average reductions in overall mean numbers of plant bugs were 45.5 and 47% for adults and nymphs, respectively, from 1999 - 2001. Grower adoption of the technology is at 86% in the Mississippi Delta according to a survey conducted in 2004. This survey demonstrated grower adoption at 33% in Arkansas, a state where the technology was being demonstrated for the first time in 2004. Adoption of the technology is likely at 33% in Louisiana and Tennessee, states where the technology was first demonstrated in 2003 and 2004, respectively. Across these four states, using results from the survey and the National Agricultural Statistics Service estimates for cotton production in 2004, the technology was applied to approximately 595,142 ha of cotton. Economists at Mississippi State University conducted an analysis of the program used on over 8,400 ha of cotton in 1999-2001, and demonstrated that the technology produced a $14.59 savings per ha in reduced insecticide costs. Using this figure, the projected savings in reduced insecticide costs for the technology in 2004 alone was $8.7 million.

Last Modified: 7/24/2014
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