Submitted to: Southwestern Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/15/2012
Publication Date: 9/1/2012
Citation: Guenthner, J., Goolsby, J., Greenway, G. 2012. Use and costs of insecticdes to control potato psyllids and zebra chip on potatoes. Southwestern Entomologist. 37(3):263-270. Interpretive Summary: Zebra Chip (ZC) is an emerging disease of potatoes in the Southern Great Plains and Pacific Northwest of the U.S. The disease is transmitted by the potato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli which causes significant yield loss and discoloration of tubers. Research has been conducted by the USDA-ARS, Texas Agrilife and others to develop an integrated pest management program (IPM) to control the potato psyllid and thereby reduce the incidence ZC in the tubers at harvest. The cost of insecticides used in the program is substantial and varies from farm to farm in the different areas impacted by the diseases. This study documents the economic cost of the potato psyllid control program and its implications for the competitiveness of potato growing areas particularly in the Pacific Northwest where the diseases was recently discovered.
Technical Abstract: Zebra chip disease in potatoes has become a serious problem in North America. Researchers in Texas developed a sampling and reporting program for cooperating growers in three states. Data from this project enabled us to document insecticide use and costs for ZC control in commercial potato fields. The number of different insecticides used Texas declined from 17 in 2009 to 10 in 2011. The most commonly used insecticides in all three states were Admire and Movento. For all locations in Texas growers spent an average of $720 per hectare for the three year period while those in Kansas and Nebraska spent $602 per hectare. Average costs were stable for the three years in Texas but more variable in the other two states. Costs varied significantly among fields in the same locations. Issues raised but not covered by this study include: yield loss, quality loss, ZC management strategies, control of other insects, and the impact of ZC on the competitive positions of potato growing areas.