Biology, Ecology and Management of Insect Pests of Peanut in the Southeast US


Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia on behalf of the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service and University of Georgia Research Foundation, Inc.

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Southeast (GA, FL, AL)

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Host plant resistance is one of the most desirable pest management tactics in an integrated program as it requires no additional inputs from the producer and can provide very effective protection from pest injury. While most of Georgia's peanut acreage is planted to a single cultivar (GA-OGG), there are several high yielding, commercially available alternatives for growers to consider. The agronomic traits of these cultivars are generally well known, but their relative susceptibility to insect pests has not been fully investigated. One of the foundations of integrated pest management is the systematic monitoring of pest populations and the use of economic thresholds for decision making. Recent grower surveys suggest that at least 50% of Georgia's peanut crop is not regularly scouted for insect pests. As part of a multi-year study conducted in cooperation with county Extension agents in Georgia and a research entomologist at Auburn University, a field trial was established on a University of Georgia research farm in Tifton, GA in 2016 to evaluate the effect of cultivar on insect infestations and to assess the efficacy of two insect management paradigms: Integrated pest management {1PM) vs. calendar based insecticide applications. The experiment was arranged in a randomized complete block design. Plot dimensions were 12ft x 30ft. Pest and beneficial insect populations were monitored weekly in all plots. All insecticide treatments were applied with a CO2 powered, tractor mounted research plot sprayer delivering 15 gallons of finished spray solution per acre. Calendar based treatments included: acephate at 21 days after planting and three applications of Besiege at the first and third week of July and the second week of August. In the 1PM based treatments, insecticides were applied based on insect density and established or putative economic thresholds. Cultivars tested included: Georgia-OGG, Georgia-12Y, and Tifguard. Not unexpectedly, there were significant differences in yield by cultivar, but within cultivar, insect management strategy had no effect on yield. The 1PM treatment regime never reached threshold for any pests and was not sprayed. These data will be combined with data from additional years and locations for analysis. The effects of cultivar and management regime will also be examined at the level of individual pest and beneficial insect species.

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