Evaluation of trap crops for the management of wireworms in spring wheat in Montana
Reddy, Gadi V. P.
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The polyphagous larvae of click beetles (Coleoptera: Elateridae) are major pests of spring wheat in Montana, USA. Presently available insecticides are unable to provide control over wireworm populations, and the use of natural enemies has not been successful under field conditions. In this study, we examined the effect of seven trap crops: pea, lentil, canola, corn, durum, barley, and wheat, for their attractiveness to wireworms compared to spring wheat. Experimental plots were located in two commercial grain fields in Valier and Ledger, Montana, USA and the trials took place from May to August in 2015 and 2016. Wheat plants damaged by wireworms were recorded and their relative locations in wheat rows and adjacent trap crop rows within a plot were determined using destructive soil samples. In 2016, variable row spacing (0.25, 0.5, 0.75, and 1 m) between the trap crops (pea and lentil) and wheat was assessed. Shade house bioassays were conducted using potted pea, lentil, and wheat plants to support field trial results. Limonius californicus larvae, released at the center of each pot were sampled 4 and 10 days after sowing. Wheat intercropped with pea and lentil had significantly fewer damaged wheat plants. Wireworm numbers were lower in wheat intercropped with pea compared to the control for both locations and years. Shade house results corresponded with field results, with more wireworms collected from pea and lentil than wheat. In the spacing trials, wheat plant counts were also significantly higher when paired with pea and lentil, particularly at 0.5 m spacing. Regardless of inter-row spacing, significantly fewer wireworms were associated with wheat when intercropped with pea and lentil trap crops.
Adhikari, Ashish, and Gadi V. P. Reddy. "Evaluation of trap crops for the management of wireworms in spring wheat in Montana." Arthropod-Plant Interactions 11, no. 6 (December 2017): 755-766. DOI:10.1007/s11829-017-9533-5.