Use of precision insecticide placement and cultural control methods to reduce chemical requirements for insect management in agricultural systems
Lohmeyer, Kimberly Hutchison
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Field tests were conducted between 1999 and 2001 to evaluate the efficacy of precision placement of at planting insecticides and cultural control methods for the management of soil pests of corn and tobacco thrips in cotton in comparison to standard in-furrow rates. Precision placed insecticides were placed alongside the seed at planting with no insecticide along the furrow between the seeds. Efficacy evaluations in cotton showed that precision placement rates of aldicarb were as effective in reducing tobacco thrips, Frankliniella fusca (Hinds), populations as the standard in-furrow rate, but at significantly reduced amounts of product per ha. Analysis of treated cotton plants showed that significantly higher amounts of aldicarb and aldicarb metabolites were found in precision placement treated plants. The use of precision placed aldicarb in combination with conservation tillage was found to significantly reduce thrips populations. Ultra-narrow row planting practices did not appear to significantly enhance thrips infestations. Tests in field corn evaluated the efficacy of precision placed and in-furrow rates of soil insecticides for the management of the lesser cornstalk borer, Elasmopalpus lignosellus (Zeller), the southern corn billbug, Sphenophorus callosus (Olivier), the corn wireworm, Melantotus communis (Gyllenhal), and the sugarcane beetle Eutheola rugiceps (LeConte). There was indication that precision placement of soil insecticides provided superior control in mixed infestations of southern corn billbug and lesser cornstalk borer at reduced insecticide rates when compared to conventional in-furrow applications. Mean percent damage due to southern corn billbug was significantly higher and yields were significantly decreased in conservation tillage as compared with conventional tillage. Southern corn billbug damage was increased in conservation tillage but lesser cornstalk borer infestations were reduced when compared to conventionally tilled corn.