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Donn T. Johnson

Thorny erect blackberries (Rubus spp.) were evaluated for yield and cane vigor as affected by galls produced by the rednecked cane borer Agrilus ruficollis (F.). Galling in `Cherokee' significantly (P < 0.001) decreased the count of berries and the weight of berries per centimeter of live cane. Winter injury, water stress, and nutritional stress induced by galls increased the amount of dead wood per cane. Galling did not affect the length of live laterals per `Cherokee' cane. For `Comanche' and `Cheyenne', the amount of dead wood per cane increased as gall counts increased. In contrast, the length of live laterals per cane increased for `Comanche' and decreased for `Cheyenne' as gall counts increased. The weight of berries and the count of berries per centimeter of live cane for `Comanche' and `Cheyenne' were not related to the count of galls. Of the four cultivars, `Shawnee' produced the most berries and greatest weight of berries per centimeter of live cane when canes were free of galls. Conversely, when galls exceeded two per cane, `Shawnee' yielded least, followed by `Comanche', `Cheyenne', and `Cherokee'.

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Joe R. Williamson and Donn T. Johnson

Agricultural monocultures with intensive pest management practices reduce diversity and create instability in agricultural ecosystems, thereby increasing reliance upon pesticides. This study compares the influence of three insect pest management programs in vineyards on arthropod diversity as well as parasitism and control of grape berry moth (Endopiza viteana), the key pest of grapes (Vitis labrusca) in eastern North America. Vineyards in Bald Knob, Hindsville, Judsonia, Lowell, and Searcy, Ark., were managed with a range of intensity of insecticide use, a reduced insecticide program with Exosex-GBM dispensers for mating disruption, or no pesticide use in abandoned vineyards. Arthropod diversity and carabid (Carabidae) density in each vineyard was sampled with pitfall traps. Grape berry moth flight was monitored by pheromone traps. Grape berry moth–infested grapes were collected from the field and reared in the lab until parasites or moths emerged. There were significant differences in arthropod diversity between vineyard sites, with Shannon diversity index values generally higher in woods and managed vineyards with conventional sprays and/or mating disruption than in abandoned sites. Shannon index values for arthropod diversity were significantly lower at the vineyard edge in Searcy (recently abandoned), vineyard center and edge in Bald Knob (abandoned), and the vineyard edge in Hindsville (conventional sprays). In 2003, carabid density was significantly highest in the edge and center of the Hindsville vineyard (high insecticide usage) and the abandoned Bald Knob vineyard had significantly lowest carabid density. Apparently, insecticide sprays resulted in more food on the vineyard floor for carabids. The vineyard floor management was too variable among vineyards to deduce its effect on carabid density. With some exceptions, low-spray and no-spray vineyards generally showed greater diversity and parasitism of grape berry moth than high-spray vineyards. Parasitism was higher in some high-spray vineyards than in low-spray with mating disruption vineyards. Grape berry moth flight and berry damage were more dependent on spray timing than intensity. This study demonstrates that insect pest management programs impact arthropod diversity and parasitism. Further testing is needed to determine why parasitism of grape berry moth decreased in the vineyards using the mating disruption tactic.

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Krista L. Kugler-Quinn, Curt R. Rom, and Donn T. Johnson

Single leaf gas exchange measurements were taken at a range of light intensities from 20 to 1500 μmol·m-2·s-1 PAR under greenhouse conditions on `Washington Spur'/EMLA seven potted apple trees subjected to either 1500 cumulative mite days (CMD) European Red mite (ERM) damage or no mite damage. 1500 CMD ERM damage significantly reduced assimilation (A) over all light intensities for leaves present during mite damage at 6 days after the mite population had reached the 1500 CMD level and the mites were killed. Mite damage did not significantly affect A of either leaves present during mite damage or leaves produced after the mites were killed on any other sampling date. However, a trend of reduced A of leaves present during mite infestation on the mite-damaged trees was apparent on all sampling dates after the mites were killed. Evapotranspiration (E) was not affected by mite damage. The mite damage by light intensity interaction did not have a significant effect on A or E on any sampling date.

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Eric T. Stafne, John R. Clark, Donn T. Johnson, and Barbara A. Lewis

Since 1997, populations of Japanese beetle have settled into some of the major urban areas of Arkansas, especially Little Rock and Northwest Arkansas, due to transported turf and nursery material. Experimental trials at the University of Arkansas Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Fayetteville have sustained significant damage due to the increasing Japanese beetle population. Plantings of blackberries and blueberries were rated for feeding damage. Significant differences were observed among genotypes of both crops. Mean damage ratings varied from 0.6 to 4.0 for the blackberries and 1.2 to 3.5 for the blueberries. As evidenced by the mean damage ratings, some resistance or tolerance is present within these populations and may be exploited for improvement.

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Curt R. Rom, R. Andy Allen, Donn T. Johnson, and Ronald McNew

The NE-183 project was established in 1993 and the first trial planted in 1995 with the objective of evaluating new apple cultivars for horticultural, pest and disease resistance, and qualitative characteristics. Arkansas (AR) is the southernmost location for the initial planting. The following cultivars are in AR trial: `Arlet', `Braeburn', `Cameo', `Creston', `Enterprise', `Fortune', `Fuji', `Gala Supreme', `Ginger Gold', `GoldCrisp', `Golden Delicious', `Golden Supreme', `Goldrush', `Honeycrisp', `NY75414-1', `Orin', `Pristine', `Sansa', `Shizuka', `Suncrisp', `Sunrise', and `Yataka'. Bloom of `Braeburn', `Yataka', `Orin', `Gold Supreme', `Fortune', and `Enterprise' were early and may be exposed to annual spring frosts. The following cultivars ripened in July or August and may be too early for southern markets: `Pristine', `Sunrise', `Sansa', `Ginger Gold', `Arlet', `Honeycrisp', `Golden Supreme', and `Orin'. The following cultivars were very precocious and had yields >7.5 kg/tree in the third growing season: `Fuji', `Enterprise', `Creston', `Golden Delicious', `Ginger Gold', `Suncrisp', and `Goldrush'.

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Christopher I. Vincent, M. Elena García, Donn T. Johnson, and Curt R. Rom

The broad mite (Polyphagotarsonemus latus) was found in association with leaf-curling symptoms on primocane-fruiting blackberry (Rubus rubus) in Arkansas in 2007–2009. Broad mite had not been previously reported on blackberry. The plots sampled in this study were part of a study comparing harvesting in the fall versus harvest in spring and fall, high tunnels versus ambient conditions, and three genotypes, all under organic production. Leaves were sampled, broad mites per leaf counted, and leaf area and trichome density measured. Results indicated that broad mite is capable of overwintering in a moderate temperate climate and that it reduces leaf area of primocane-fruiting blackberry. The fall-only harvest system had fewer broad mites than fall and spring harvest. There were a range of genotype effects on broad mite populations, including one genotype, ‘Prime-Jan®’, on which broad mite populations remained low, and one genotype, APF-46, on which mite populations grew significantly. Observations indicate that the broad mite may be a pest of ‘Prime-Ark® 45’, another primocane-fruiting cultivar.

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Jayasree Ravi, Donn T. Johnson, Barbara A. Lewis, and Curt R. Rom

In 1995, greenhouse and orchard experiments of 11 apple cultivars were conducted in Fayetteville and Clarksville, Ark. Weekly cumulative mite days (CMD) were regressed against leaf bronzing (colorimeter value L) and compared among cultivars. European red mites, Panonychus ulmi and two-spotted spider mites, Tetranychus urticae, were found on leaves. `Liberty', `Royal Gala', and `Stark Spur Red Rome Beauty' had significantly more mites (>1940 CMD) than did `Arkansas Black' (1303), `Jonafree' (1150), and `Northern Spy' (973). A low CMD on `Northern Spy' caused leaves to bronze faster [y = 29.04 + 0.006(x); R 2 = 52, P = 0.0002] than did a high CMD on `Liberty' [y = 30.41 + 0.0027(x); R 2 = 70, P = 0.0001]. Field estimates were made of spider mites/leaf and bronzing from 20 June to 7 Aug. `Stark Spur Red Rome Beauty' and `Stark Spur Law Rome' had significantly more CMD than did `Northern Spy' and `Arkansas Black'. Apple cultivars differed in carrying capacity to mites (susceptibility) and how fast leaves bronze in response to mite feeding. Cultivar differences in hairiness of the lower leaf surface were not correlated to CMD.

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Tahir Rashid, Donn T. Johnson, Don C. Steinkraus, and Curt R. Rom

Insecticides were compared for control of codling moth (Cydia pomonella) and oriental fruit moth (Grapholita molesta), and effects on european red mites (Panonychus ulmi) and predatory mites (Neoseiulus fallacis) in `Red Delicious' apple trees (Malus ×domestica). Ten days after treatment with azinphosmethyl, celerylooper (Anagrapha falcifera) nuclear polyhedrosis virus, rotenone-pyrethrin, or codling moth granulosis virus, fruit damage by larval codling moth and oriental fruit moth was significantly less than trees treated with Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki or water (control). Trees treated with azinphosmethyl or celery looper nuclear polyhedrosis virus had fewer damaged fruit where larvae exited than did other treatments. By 21 days after the last treatment, all treatments had significantly more wormy or damaged fruit than did azinphosmethyl. At 10 days after treatment, the two viruses were more deleterious to codling moth than to oriental fruit moth causing a <1:3 ratio of these larvae compared to >3:1 ratio for the other treatments. On 16 June, 100 predatory mites were released onto the trunk of each tree. The minimum ratio of predatory mites to european red mites (>1:10) that favors biological control of european red mites occurred in all treatments by 14 July, except those treated with azinphosmethyl or rotenone-pyrethrin that had significantly more cumulative mite days of european red mites than the other treatments. The use of azinphosmethyl delayed biological control of the european red mites until 27 July whereas rotenone-pyrethrin treatment never attained biological control of the mites.

Open access

Emmett P. Lampert, Donn T. Johnson, Art W. Tai, Glen Kilpatrick, Randy A. Antosiak, Philip H. Crowley, and Erik D. Goodman


A computer simulation of asparagus growth is developed and used to evaluate the effects of various harvest strategies on short and long term commercial yield of asparagus (Asparagus officinalis L.). At present asparagus is harvested until the canners stop buying, usually in the 3rd or 4th week of June in southern Michigan, purchase generally being terminated by the reduction of spear diameter (whips), increase in fiber content of the spears or opening of the bracts. The simulation shows that this stragety is economically optimal for any single year; however, if the grower terminates the harvest every year on June 1, then the average yearly yields are significantly greater than those derived from the previous strategy. Skipping strategies, in which the grower skips a harvest every nth year (2nd, 3rd, or 4th), produced significantly lower 15 year average yields than either of the other 2 strageties, but produced significantly greater yields per plant.