634A PB 527 INSECT PEST MANAGEMENT THROUGH A CABBAGE-INDIAN MUSTARD COMPANION PLANTING

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  • 1 Texas A&M University System Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Lubbock, TX 79401-9757

Indian mustard (Brassica juncea) has been reported to be a preferred host for diamondhack moth (Plutella xylostellu) and other insect pests when interplanted with cabbage (Brasssica oleracea var. capitata). A cabbage-Indian mustard companion planting study was conducted to determine the seasonal occurrence of cabbage insects and the potential for using a trap-crop system to reduce insecticide applications to cabbage in West Texas. Three-row plots of cabbage 9 m long were transplanted with and without sequentially seeded borders of Indian mustard in three seasons. Harmful and beneficial insects were counted at roughly weekly intervals. Insecticides were applied when insect populations in individual plots reached predetermined thresholds. Indian mustard did not appear to be more attractive than cabbage to lepidopterous pests, but did preferentially attract hemipterans, particularly harlequin bugs (Margantia histrionica). The mustard trap crop eliminated two insecticide` applications in one trial by reducing harlequin bug pressure on the cabbage.

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