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N.R. Rice, M.W. Smith, R.D. Eikenbary, D.C. Arnold, W.L. Tedders, B.W. Wood, G.G. Taylor, B.S. Landgraf and G.E. Barlow

Annual legume ground covers were evaluated in pecan (Carya illinoinensis) orchards to supply nitrogen and increase beneficial arthropods. Treatments were established at two sites, each with 5 ha of a `Dixie' crimson clover (Trifolium incarnatum) /hairy, vetch (Vicia villosa) mixture and 5 ha of grass sod. Data indicated that the legume mixture supplied over 100 kg·ha-1 N to the pecan trees. Beneficial arthropods were greater in orchards with legume ground covers than in orchards with a grass groundcover. Lady beetles and green lacewings were the most important spring predators, and green lacewings were the most important fall predator. The Species distribution on the ground covers differed from that in the canopy. Coleomegilla maculata lengi, Hippodamia convergens and Coccinella septempunctata were the most abundant lady beetle species in the legume ground covers, and Olla v-nigrum, Cycloneda munda, and Hippodamia convergens were the most abundant species in the pecan canopies. Beneficial arthropods appeared to suppress injurious pecan aphids.