Submitted to: Plant Health Progress
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/24/2006
Publication Date: 2/19/2007
Citation: Buntin, G.D., Hanna, W.W., Wilson, J.P., Ni, X. 2007. Efficacy of insecticides for control of insect pests of pearl millet for grain production. Plant Health Progress, doi:10.1094/PHP-2007-0219-01-RS. Available: http://www.plantmanagementnetwork.org/php/. Interpretive Summary: New applications of pearl millet are contributing to the diversification of rural economies. It is finding ready acceptance in bobwhite quail production, wildlife habitat support systems, and in broiler production. Use of pearl millet as a grain for difficult growing environments in southern cropping systems requires new production information. Pesticides can provide needed risk management options for growers. These studies identified major insect pests of pearl millet, and registered insecticides that controlled these pests were identified. Insecticides did not increase yield, so pearl millet appears to have a level of tolerance to insect damage. The low-input requirements of the crop will be a valuable contribution to the development of sustainable production systems
Technical Abstract: Pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum [L.] R. Br.) is an alternative drought-tolerant grain crop for dryland summer production. Few insecticides are registered for use and insect management has not been extensively studied in pearl millet for grain production. Eleven trails were conducted during 2002 – 2004 in central and southern Georgia to understand the relative importance of insect pests and to evaluate the efficacy of currently registered insecticides against key pests. The main defoliator species were the fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith), and striped grassworm, Mocis latipes Guenée. Main insects feeding on grain heads were the corn earworm, Helicoverpa zea Boddie, sorghum webworm, Nola sorghiella Riley, and stink bugs, (brown stink bug, Euschistus spp., and southern green stink bug, Nezara viridula [L.]). All insects were effectively controlled by cypermethrin at 0.025 lb (ai)/acre. The 0.015 lb (ai) rate was effective against sorghum webworm, striped grassworm, and stink bugs, but efficacy against the corn earworm was variable. Spinosad was effective against corn earworm, striped grassworm and sorghum webworm but not against stink bugs. Azadiractin was not effective against any insect tested. Grain yield was not significantly affected by treatments in any trial. Although pearl millet is apparently tolerant of insect injury, insects will need to be monitored and managed to maximize grain production.