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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Houma, Louisiana » Sugarcane Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #330162

Title: A survey of the Louisiana sugarcane crop for insect pests

item Richard, Randy
item Johnson, Richard

Submitted to: Sugar Bulletin
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/27/2016
Publication Date: 7/1/2016
Citation: Richard, R.T., Johnson, R.M. 2016. A survey of the Louisiana sugarcane crop for insect pests. Sugar Bulletin. 94(10):23-24.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Each year USDA and LSU entomologists conduct an early season survey to monitor sugarcane borers, West Indian Cane Fly (WICF), and other insect pests in the crop. In our survey, the main objective was to quantify the number of spring deadhearts caused by overwintering sugarcane borer. Deadhearts, which are caused by sugarcane borers feeding on or below the shoot growing point, can serve as an early warning indicator of the upcoming borer season. This year’s survey was conducted on May 5, 10, 11 of 2016 and included 63 sites in the southeastern (Mississippi River and Bayou Lafourche regions) and western areas (Bayou Teche region) of the Louisiana cane industry. A total of 37% of the fields were plant cane and 63% were stubble crops. The susceptible variety HoCP 96-540 represented 40% of the sites sampled. The resistant variety L 01-299 represented 32% of sites surveyed. The remaining 28% represented a mix of HoCP 04-838, L 01-283, and L 99-226. During the survey, an average of 114 deadhearts per acre was observed, with only isolated areas showing a moderate number of deadhearts. In fact, 78% of the sites sampled had zero deadhearts. In 2012 and 2015, the survey indicated 242 and 102 deadhearts per acre, respectively. Although this survey revealed moderately low overwintering sugarcane borer populations, the impact of these borers on subsequent borer populations is largely dependent upon the weather in the coming months of June and July. Fields should be scouted for sugarcane borer weekly with the onset of above ground internodes and insecticide should be applied when borer numbers reach economic thresholds as defined in the 2016 Louisiana Insect Pest Management Guide.