Impact of tillage and ground coverage on Megacopta cribraria in soybean fields

Monday, November 17, 2014: 9:48 AM
E145 (Oregon Convention Center)
Alejandro Del Pozo , Department of Entomology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
Dominic Reisig , Department of Entomology, North Carolina State University, Plymouth, NC
Jack S. Bacheler , Department of Entomology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
Chris Reberg-Horton , Department of Crop Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
Since its first report in the US in 2009, Megacopta cribraria (Hemiptera: Plataspidae) has spread rapidly in the southeast region, feeding primarily on kudzu and soybeans.  Megacopta cribraria is considered a pest of soybeans, where up to 60% of the yield can be lost if this insect is not controlled. Insecticides are the primary available tactic to manage this pest in commercial soybean fields. Selected soybean production practices might have an impact on M. cribraria populations in the fields. This 3-year study investigates the effect of soil tillage and ground cover on M. cribraria population density in soybean plots. During 2012 and 2013, four different soybean maturity groups were planted in June under tilled and no-till conditions at two locations in NC. Significantly more M. cribraria were found on tilled plots in both years and locations. This year, the manipulation of ground coverage was added to the tillage practice to determine if ground cover impacted M. cribraria levels in soybeans. Experimental plots were planted following a rye cover crop. Treatments for the 2014 experiment included plots tillage, no-till, partial ground cover (mowed rye) and complete ground cover (rolled rye plots). Information on how production practices in soybeans affect M. cribraria may help grower select practices to minimize M. cribraria density and injury.