Application of Bacillus thuringiensis through Center-Pivot Irrigation Systems for Control of the Southwestern Corn Borer and European Corn Borer (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae)

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Center-pivot sprinkler irrigation systems were used during 1978 and 1979 to apply Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner for second-generation control of the southwestern corn borer, Diatraea grandiosella (Dyar), and European com borer, Ostrinia nubila/is (Hübner). Although a reduction in larval density and subsequent damage was attained for both species, the suppression was insufficient to warrant commercial use. Reduction of irrigation rates to the minimum attainable with commercial sprinkler systems provided no increase in borer control. Larval development time for D. grandiosella was increased from exposure to selected concentrations of B. thuringiensis in laboratory studies. This change, however, was of no measurable benefit to com production in field situations. Although B. thuringiensis has many desirable attributes (low mammalian toxicity, etc.) for suppression of D. grandiosella and O. nubilalis populations when applied through center-pivot irrigation systems, the cost of the pathogen and its low relative efficacy in large quantities of water make it impractical.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 1982

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