Invertebrate Organisms Associated with Alfalfa Seedling Loss in Complete-Tillage and No-Tillage Plantings

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Several reports have indicated that poor stands often result when alfalfa is planted in grass sod by methods whicl1 utilize little or no tillage. The possible relationship of insects and other invertebrate animals to this phenomenon was investigated in late-summer and spring plantings in bluegrass sod. Seedling growth was significantly reduced and seedling density loss was significantly greater in no-tillage plots as compared with complete-tillage plots. Data obtained by trapping and visual observations indicated that slugs, primarily Agriolimax reticulatus (Mull.), and Nemobius spp. crickets were the major defoliators of alfalfa seedlings in no-tillage plots. Application of carbofuran or methiocarb at planting did not significantly affect the rate of seedling loss, but initial seedling densities were greater in carbofuran-treated plots than in untreated plots. Carbofuran significantly reduced Nemobius spp. densities for only 2 to 3 weeks, and methiocarb failed to reduce slug activity. Slug densities in the late-summer planting were more than five times greater in carbofuran-treated plots than in untreated plots.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 1982

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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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