Project Type: On-Farm Research
Funds awarded in 2014: $14,997.00
Projected End Date: 03/14/2017
Grant Recipient: Tennessee State University
BACKGROUND: The flatheaded appletree borer (Chrysobothris femorata Olivier) (FHAB) is a native pest of fruit, shade and nut trees throughout the United States. Use of cover crops is an effective pest management tool for some key insect pests in vegetable and cereal production systems, but its impact in woody ornamental production systems has not been investigated. The goal of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a winter cover crop for management of FHAB in nursery production. Red maple trees (Acer rubrum L.) grown under four treatment regimes (cover crop, cover crop+insecticide, bare row and bare row+insecticide) were evaluated for damage by FHAB and impact on tree growth parameters. RESULTS: The cover crop reduced FHAB damage, with results equivalent to standard imidacloprid treatments. The reduction in FHAB attacks in cover crop treatments may be due to microclimate changes at preferred oviposition sites, trunk camouflage or interference with access to oviposition sites. Tree growth was reduced in the cover crop treatments due to competition for resources. CONCLUSION: Physical blockage of oviposition sites by cover crops and subsequent microclimate changes protected against FHAB damage. Therefore, cover crops can be an alternative to chemical insecticides.
Peer-reviewed Journal Article
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This product is associated with the project "Incorporating a Cover Crop into Field Grown Nursery Production to Manage Flatheaded Appletree Borer with the Simultaneous Benefit of Improved and Sustainable Weed Management"