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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Developing Integrated Weed and Insect Management Systems for Efficient and Sustainable Sugarcane Production

Location: Sugarcane Research Unit

Title: West Indian canefly (Fulgorid) experiences from the 2012 season

Authors
item WHITE, WILLIAM
item DALLEY, CALEB
item Viator, Blaine -

Submitted to: Sugar Bulletin
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 18, 2013
Publication Date: April 1, 2013
Citation: White, W.H., Dalley, C.D., Viator, B. 2013. West Indian canefly (Fulgorid) experiences from the 2012 season. Sugar Bulletin. 91(7):21-23.

Technical Abstract: The 2012 Louisiana sugarcane crop will long be remembered as a record crop for the industry. With total cane yield reaching 15 million tons and sugar production of 1.7 million tons (raw value), the 2012 crop represented a 15% increase over the average of the previous five years. It will also be remembered as a year of unusually high West Indian canefly infestations. The last significant infestations of this insect in Louisiana occurred in 1997 and before that in 1969. Lighter infestations were also noted in 1956 and 1944, the first record of the pest in our state. Although the insect is present in our industry every year, the cycle of significant infestations seems to occur every 15 – 20 years. For reasons often not known, epizootic outbreaks of insects occur. These outbreaks may or may not be predicable or cyclic. In 2012, the Louisiana sugarcane crop suffered an epizootic outbreak of the West Indian canefly. Although the preceding winter was mild, the outbreak of the canefly was unexpected. Infestations of the canefly were the highest in the Bayou Teche region of the sugarcane growing area, and the infestations there persisted from the spring until the early fall. A Crisis Exemption was obtained from the EPA for the insecticide imidacloprid. The Crisis Exemption was for 15 days and allowed for treatment of approximately 16,000 acres. Several replicated yield trials were conducted with an average yield reduction in sugar yield of 23%. This high value is a clear indication that the impact of West Indian canefly has been appreciated by the Louisiana sugarcane industry. As no one can predict future insect outbreaks, the best approach may be to seek control strategies that encompass the several species of sap feeding insects that infest sugarcane in Louisiana.

Last Modified: 7/25/2014
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