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Trap cropping to manage green vegetable bug Nezara viridula (L.) (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) in sweet corn in New Zealand

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The use of trap crops to reduce green vegetable bug (GVB) Nezara viridula (L.) (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) damage to process sweet corn Zea mays (L.) was investigated in three field experiments.

• In the first season, small plots (2.7 m by 10 m) of white mustard Sinapis alba (L.) with pea Pisum sativum (L.) were sown along a crop border and compared with sweet corn alone.

• In the second season, black mustard Brassica nigra (L.) was sown at two sowing dates (14 days apart) and compared with a sweet corn control, to examine how the maturity of the trap crop affected numbers of GVB trapped.

• A field scale experiment was also conducted to determine the effectiveness of black mustard as a trap crop to protect larger areas of sweet corn from GVB.

• In all three experiments, GVB populations were much higher on the trap crops compared with the sweet corn.

• In both small plot experiments, GVB were contained largely within the trap crop for 2 weeks until the sweet corn was harvested.

• The field scale experiment demonstrated the efficacy of the trap cropping technique to protect larger areas of crop from GVB.

• Percentages of damaged sweet corn cobs in the outside row of fields protected by a trap crop were 0% and 1%, respectively, compared with 11% and 22% in control fields.

• Trap cropping is recommended as an effective strategy to manage this insect. Options for cultivating or spraying the trap crops to reduce bug survival are discussed.

Keywords: Green vegetable bug; IPM; New Zealand; Nezara viridula; mustard; pea; southern green stink bug; sweet corn; trap crop

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: May 1, 2002


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