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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Florence, South Carolina » Coastal Plain Soil, Water and Plant Conservation Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #394781

Research Project: Innovative Technologies and Practices to Enhance Water Quantity and Quality Management for Sustainable Agricultural Systems in the Southeastern Coastal Plain

Location: Coastal Plain Soil, Water and Plant Conservation Research

Title: Impact of perennial cover crops on thrips and beneficial insects in cotton

item REAY-JONES, FRANCIS - Clemson University
item Billman, Eric

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/11/2022
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Abstract Only

Technical Abstract: Perennial groundcover cover crops are being investigated as a novel alternative to the use of herbicide in cotton. Because ground cover resulting from annual planting of cover crops has previously been shown to decrease thrips densities in cotton, the goal of this research was to examine how a perennial cover crop may impact thrips, in addition to other arthropods in cotton. Sampling at the first true leaf stage showed that fallow plots had 5.2-fold greater adult thrips densities in cotton compared to densities averaged across plots with a clover cover crop and a combination of clover/ryegrass cover crop, with intermediate densities in a ryegrass cover crop. At the third true leaf stage, immature thrips densities in cotton were 11.9-fold greater in fallow and ryegrass cover crop plots compared to plots with a clover cover crop or a combination of clover/ryegrass. Across both sampling dates, sweep net sampling found higher densities of arthropod predators and herbivores in plots with a clover cover crop (4.25 arthropods/10 sweeps) or a combination of clover/ryegrass (9.5) compared to fallow (0.125) and ryegrass (0) cover crop plots. Perennial cover crops with clover have potential in reducing thrips incidence in cotton while also promoting arthropod diversity.