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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Insects pose a serious economic threat to the peanut industry in Georgia. The project proposed here will address three distinct yet related areas of concern with the overarching objective of providing Southeastern peanut producers with best management practices for insect control. Regular, systematic scouting for insects does not occur on a large proportion of peanut acres in GA. This can result in losses to growers when: 1. insecticides are applied when pests are not at economic thresholds or 2. no action is taken when pests are at economic thresholds. These studies will compare efficacy and economic returns of !PM/threshold based and "low tolerance" insect management approaches imposed over selected commercially available runner-type peanut cultivars. No valid economic thresholds currently exist for three cornered alfalfa hopper {TCAH) in peanut. One component of this work will focus on expanding knowledge of the biology and ecology of TCAH in peanut production systems. Efforts will center on defining the pest status of TCAH and ultimately on establishing economic thresholds. The burrower bug is a relatively new pest to Georgia, but it is capable of causing significant economic loss. While some risk factors associated with this pest have been identified, accurate predictions of damage risk are not currently possible. Because burrower bugs spend most of their lives below ground, they are not readily observed in the field, and populations are not easily monitored. Previous studies indicate that burrower bugs move at night and are attracted to light. This research will seek to determine the most effective light trap for monitoring burrower bug populations. Once a successful trap design is identified, a monitoring network will be established in cooperation with county Extension agents to provide information about burrower bug populations in GA over time and perhaps provide growers with real time information about pest abundance and activity.

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