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  • Author or Editor: Zsofia Szendrei x
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Michigan higbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) growers were surveyed during Winter 2003 to gather information on the extent of the pest status of japanese beetle (Popillia japonica, Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) within this crop, and their responses to this pest management challenge. The survey was mailed to 215 highbush blueberry farms in southwestern, central, and southeastern Michigan. Ninety-nine surveys were completed and returned. Our results revealed that this pest was of concern to the majority of growers who returned the survey (84%), causing average additional costs of $72/acre. Increased insecticide use was the major cause of the economic loss due to this pest, and the main methods for controlling japanese beetle were insecticides and clean cultivation. More farms had permanent sod coverage than clean cultivation in individual fields. The acreage of clean-cultivated farms was higher because larger farms tend to have clean cultivation. Japanese beetle has driven changes in row-middle management, indicated by growers who have switched to clean cultivation recently. Fifty percent of growers considered the changes they implemented to control japanese beetle to be effective, and most growers were not planning any further changes to their pest management programs to address this pest. Many growers were willing to try new cover crops if they are shown to be effective against japanese beetle.

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