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Impact of Planting Date and Varietal Maturity on Tarnished Plant Bug (Hemiptera: Miridae) in Cotton

Adams Brian, Catchot A., Gore J., Cook D., Musser F., Dodds D.
Journal of economic entomology 2013 v.106 no.6 pp. 2378-2383
Lygus lineolaris, cotton, early development, field experimentation, growers, insecticides, pesticide application, planting date, river deltas, Mississippi
A field experiment was conducted in Stoneville, MS, during 2010 and 2011 to investigate the impact of varietal maturity, planting date, and insecticide application on tarnished plant bug, Lygus lineolaris (Palisot de Beauvois), populations and damage in cotton. Four planting dates were selected to encompass the cotton-planting period in Mississippi. An early and late maturing variety were planted at each planting date, and each variety and planting date combination was either sprayed or unsprayed for tarnished plant bugs. Plots were sampled weekly from first square until physiological maturity. Plots were harvested at the end of the season. Early planting dates had lower densities of tarnished plant bug and required fewer insecticide applications than the later planting dates. Mid-April to early May planting dates sustained less yield loss from tarnished plant bug than mid-May to late-May planting dates. Tarnished plant bug had less impact on yield of the early maturing variety than on the late maturing variety. The sprayed plots yielded more than unsprayed plots. These data demonstrate that later plantings of cotton in the Mississippi Delta are likely to experience yield losses from tarnished plant bug and need to be sprayed more compared with early cotton plantings. As a result, growers should manage their crop for earliness through planting date and varietal selection.