Influence of Cover Crops on Insect Pests and Predators in Conservation Tillage Cotton
In fall 2000, an on-farm sustainable agricultural research project was established for cotton, Gossypiumhirsutum L., in Tift County,Georgia. The objective of our 2-year research project was to determine the impact of several cover crops on pest and predator insects in cotton.The five cover crop treatments included 1) cereal rye, Secale cereale L., a standard grass cover crop; 2) crimson clover, Trifolium incarnatum L., a standard legume cover crop; 3) a legume mixture of balansa clover, Trifolium michelianum Savi; crimson clover;and hairy vetch, Vicia villosa Roth; 4) a legume mixture_rye combination; and 5) no cover crop in conventionally tilled fields.Three main groups or species of pests were collected in cover crops and cotton: 1) the heliothines Heliothis virescens (F.) and Helicoverpa zea (Boddie); 2) the tarnished plant bug, Lygus lineolaris (Palisot de Beauvois); and 3) stink bugs.
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Want more information? See the related SARE grant(s) LS01-121, Enhancing Sustainability in Cotton Production through Reduced Chemical Inputs, Cover Crops, and Conservation Tillage .
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This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture through the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.