Conservation tillage systems have a key role in increasing soil protection from wind and water erosion, and in decreasing fuel and labor costs. The impact of reduced tillage on insect pest abundance and associated damage can vary considerably among locations, from species to species and from crop to crop. In addition to insect pest herbivores, reduced tillage can have a strong impact on insect predators and parasitoids, and on insects associated with the decomposition of organic matter. Management of insect pests is, in general, similar in both reduced-tillage and conventional tillage systems. Ongoing research concerning reduced-tillage systems is aimed towards a better understanding of the interactions between the modified environment and the dynamics of pest and beneficial insects. Considerable work is still needed in order to better address the issues faced by growers making complex management decisions.
Technical Contribution No. 5755 of the Clemson University Experiment Station. This material is based upon work supported by NIFA/USDA, under project number SC-1700333 (Reay-Jones) and SC-1700351 (Chong).