Submitted to: Miscellaneous Publishing Information Bulletin
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: January 30, 2003
Publication Date: February 2, 2003
Citation: JARONSKI, S. SUGARBEET ROOT MAGGOTS CAN CAUSE FUTURE HEADACHES IN AREA. MISCELLANEOUS PUBLISHING INFORMATION BULLETIN. 2003. Available from Sidney Herald-Leader, Sidney, MT. Technical Abstract: The sugarbeet root maggot, has not been a recent major problem to local farmers, but it is a consistent, serious problem to beet farmers on about 100,000 acres in the northern Red River Valley of North Dakota and an additional 25,000 acres in Nebraska. In North Dakota, fly populations are often thirty times more numerous than here and infestations left untreated will suffer as much as 40% loss in yield. Farmers do have a couple of chemicals ' albeit highly toxic - to combat this insect. Two fungi, Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae, known for hundreds of years, could be possible alternatives. We at USDA Sidney MT have been researching these fungi for the past two years, identifying the best strains to use, the best methods to apply spores of these fungi to a sugar beet crop, and all the many factors that could affect the consistent efficacy of the fungi across the fly's entire range (the 'ecology' of these fungi). The work is being pursued with the larger framework called 'biologically based management of pest and diseases of sugar beets.' Toward that end we have teamed up with researchers at Montana State University, North Dakota State University, University of Minnesota, the USDA lab, Fargo ND, and others. Our objective is to develop not just a fungus to control the maggot, but other microorganisms, cultural practices and sugarbeet hybrids to deal with the plant pathogens and sugarbeet cyst nematodes. The ultimate goal is a pest management system that integrates all the available tools to lessen the amount of toxic chemicals that have to be used to bring a sugarbeet crop to harvest.