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Impact of Defoliation by the Colorado Potato Beetle on Potato Yields

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Potato plots were partially defoliated by populations of Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say) to learn how insect defoliation affected potato yields. The experiment was repeated 7 times at 2-wk intervals throughout the season to determine how plant sensitivity to defoliation changed with plant development. The percent yield reduction of defoliated rows was regressed on percent defoliation for each time period. Yields were little affected by defoliation except during the middle 4–6 wk of the season when yields were reduced up to 64% by total defoliation. The most critical period of plant development corresponds to the emergence and oviposition of summer adult Colorado potato beetles. Levels of defoliation and yield reduction were not correlated during the last month of the season, and the value of continuing weekly insecticide treatments during this time is called into question.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 1980

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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