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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #314287

Research Project: Biologically-based Technologies for Management of Crop Insect Pests in Local and Areawide Programs

Location: Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research

Title: Sunn hemp as a ground cover to manage fall armyworm populations

item Meagher, Robert - Rob
item Nagoshi, Rodney
item Fleischer, S - Pennsylvania State University
item Westbrook, John

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/18/2015
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda, is a serious pest of sweet corn in south Florida and a pest of other vegetable, row, and forage crops in the southeastern, mid-Atlantic, and central U.S. It is a migratory pest, moving north each season from overwintering areas in southern Texas and southern Florida. Fall armyworm moves about 300 miles per generation and uses agricultural plants and cover crops in ‘stepping stone nurseries’ to increase populations. One of the cover crop species that is very attractive to FAW and that allows large populations to increase is sorghum-sudangrass (SSG). Our research is replacing SSG with the legume sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea) in hopes of reducing populations both in the overwintering areas and as an areawide management strategy in stepping stone nurseries. Results in field and laboratory tests during the last three years suggests that sunn hemp is a poor host for FAW and if used as a cover crop species, would significantly reduce the amount of moths migrating each season.