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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Developing Integrated Weed and Insect Management Systems for Efficient and Sustainable Sugarcane Production

Location: Sugarcane Research Unit

Title: Results from the 2013 sugarcane borer yield reduction study

Author
item White, William

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 4, 2014
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: The sugarcane borer (Crambidae: Lepidoptera) is the key pest of sugarcane in Louisiana. As the key pest, some insecticide is required every year to avoid economic damage by this insect. The current economic damage threshold is 10% bored internodes at harvest time (beginning the first of October). To avoid this level of damage farmers are required to spray their crop with an insecticide when 5% of the stalks surveyed in the field from June to September are infested by sugarcane borer larvae. Research has shown that sugarcane varieties respond differently to similar levels of damage sustained during sugarcane borer feeding. There are some varieties that are resistant to the insects feeding, and therefore may require fewer applications of insecticide. The damage that these varieties sustain following infestation by sugarcane borer is also less. Knowledge of the response of a variety to sugarcane borer feeding is important to both the farmer and agriculture consultant so that informed decisions can be made on the management of newly released varieties. To that end, a yield reduction study is conducted every year with varieties that are three years away from possible release to the sugarcane farmer. These yield reduction studies are planted as a split plot field design where one half of a replication is sprayed with insecticide and the other half receives no insecticide. Within each split plot, 10 sugarcane varieties are planted randomly within each sub-plot. Individual plots are three, 16-foot plots with a row of corn planted that serves as an artificially infested sugarcane borer spreader row. Weekly infestation counts are made from each plot during the growing season, and an end of the harvest (November or December) bored internode count is made from 12 randomly selected stalks. Plots weights are obtained by combine harvester and sugar yields determined by a subsample collected during the harvest of the plot. Data are presented from the 2013 yield reduction study.

Last Modified: 12/22/2014
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