Submitted to: Potato Progress
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2003
Publication Date: 8/30/2003
Citation: Landolt, P.J., Zack, R.S. 2003. Watch your loopers. Potato Progress. III(10):1-2. Interpretive Summary: Larvae of several species of noctuid moths defoliate potato plants, reducing yield and incurring production costs when controlled with pesticides. Monitoring of these moths and larvae can prevent economic damage to the crop by indicating when problems may arise and control practices should be implemented. Scientists at the Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory developed a set of chemical lures to be used in traps for monitoring loopers, cutworms, and armyworms and are conducting season long monitoring to document differences in phenology of the different pest species. It was found that the alfalfa looper is generally present throughout the season, while the cabbage looper can occur in large numbers as a migrant. This information is of immediate use to potato growers, as it alerts them to the patterns of potential damage from both of these species.
Technical Abstract: The alfalfa looper moth occurs in monitoring traps generally throughout the growing season, without large variances in numbers. The cabbage looper moth is normally not present or is uncommon in Washington, except for occasional migrations from the south. In 2003 to date, a large flight of cabbage looper moths occurred in June that could cause problems on late season potato crops.