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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Epidemiology and Management of Pierce's Disease and Other Maladies of Grape

Location: Crop Diseases, Pests and Genetics

Title: Potato leafhopper (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) ecology and integrated pest management focused on alfalfa

Authors
item Chasen, Elissa -
item Dietrich, Christopher -
item Backus, Elaine
item Cullen, Eileen -

Submitted to: Journal of Integrated Pest Management
Publication Type: Literature Review
Publication Acceptance Date: January 24, 2014
Publication Date: March 1, 2014
Citation: Chasen, E.M., Dietrich, C., Backus, E.A., Cullen, E.M. 2014. Potato leafhopper (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) ecology and integrated pest management focused on alfalfa. Journal of Integrated Pest Management. 5:A1-A8.

Interpretive Summary: The potato leafhopper, Empoasca fabae (Harris), is the most economically important pest of alfalfa in the central and eastern U.S., where damage can exceed $200 per hectare Growers, farm advisors, and pest control operators need up-to-date information on the biology of the potato leafhopper to improve pest management. Yet, a single, holistic summary of such information is lacking. This pest profile summarizes geographic distribution, development, migration, agricultural host plants, and mechanism of injury to host plants by the potato leafhopper. Damage to alfalfa, potato, soybean and snap bean, as well as treatment guidelines, are discussed, with an emphasis on alfalfa. Scouting methods, economic thresholds and chemical, cultural controls, and genetic (host plant resistance) tactics are compared. Use of glandular-haired, resistant varieties of alfalfa, combined with economic thresholds to plan early and/or frequent harvest are the most cost-effective integrated pest management tactics for minimizing yield loss from potato leafhopper. Wide dissemination of this information will help growers better manage this serious pest.

Technical Abstract: Knowledge to date on biology of the potato leafhopper, Empoasca fabae (Harris), is summarized, including geographic distribution, development, migration, agricultural host plants, and the mechanism of injury to host plants. Damage to alfalfa, potato, soybean and snap bean, as well as treatment guidelines, are discussed. Particular attention is given to integrated pest management options in alfalfa, the crop that most frequently incurs economically damaging populations of potato leafhopper. Scouting and economic thresholds in alfalfa are discussed along with chemical, cultural and genetic (host plant resistance) tactics for integrated pest management. Use of glandular-haired, resistant varieties of alfalfa, combined with use of economic thresholds to plan early and/or frequent harvesting of alfalfa, are the most effective integrated pest management tactics against yield losses from potato leafhopper.

Last Modified: 10/31/2014
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