Conservation Tillage Systems in the Southeast

Chapter 13: Insect Pest Management

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Francis P. F. Reay-Jones, Clemson University

Juang-Horng “JC” Chong, Clemson University

John R. Ruberson, Kansas State University

The implementation of conservation tillage practices has led to dramatic changes in the management of some insect pests, particularly those that spend a portion of their life in the soil. Research on the responses of insects to reduced tillage has been conducted on all major field crops beginning with 1960s research on corn rootworm in Ohio [62]. While there are many advantages of reduced tillage when compared to conventional tillage, one potential disadvantage is an increase in insect-induced crop injury [26]. However, insect pests can also decrease in abundance or show no change under reduced tillage [62]. This chapter summarizes how conservation tillage practices change insect habitats and how those changes affect the associated major insect pests and their management.

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