Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Urban Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/14/2003
Publication Date: 10/1/2003
Citation: MANLEY, D.G., DURANT, J.A., BAUER, P.J., FREDERICK, J.R. RYE COVER CROP, SURFACE TILLAGE, CROP ROTATION, AND SOIL INSECTICIDE IMPACT ON THRIPS NUMBERS IN COTTON IN THE SE COASTAL PLAIN. JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL AND URBAN ENTOMOLOGY. 2002. v. 19. p.217-226.
Interpretive Summary: Soil tillage affects the environment around crop seedlings and may influence the infestations of crop pests. Thrips are insect pests that can cause significant damage to cotton seedlings. We studied how application of an insecticide, tillage, and the kind of plant residues on the soil surface affect the number of thrips on young cotton plants. We found that application of an insecticide (aldicarb) kept thrips populations at very low levels regardless of tillage or the type of surface residue. When no insecticide was used, cotton grown with no tillage tended to have lower infestations of thrips than cotton grown in soil that was tilled. In one year of the study, residue type with no-tillage impacted thrips infestation levels. In that year, thrips numbers in cotton grown in residues left from a rye cover crop or in residues of a corn crop were lower than in cotton grown in residues left from a previous cotton crop. These results are important to scientists studying new ways of controlling early season insect pests in cotton.
Technical Abstract: Cover crops and conservation tillage are both becoming increasingly important in cotton production in the southeastern United States. It is important to know the effects of these changing cropping practices on pest populations. Thrips were collected from cotton seedlings rotated with corn or following a rye winter cover, either disked or not disked, and either with or without aldicarb application. Insecticide application was effective in reducing thrips populations under nearly all cropping practices. No-till plots usually had fewer thrips than plots that were disked. Thrips populations were lower in rye/no-till plots than in no cover crop/no-till plots, but were higher in rye/disked than in no cover crop/disked.