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Productivity and Persistence of Alfalfa in Response to Clover Root Curculio (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) Injury in Pennsylvania

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Abstract:

Clover root curculio, Sitona hispidulus (F.), is a pest of clovers but is often overlooked in alfalfa. This study examined the association between the clover root curculio and alfalfa yield, quality, and persistence in Pennsylvania from 1984 to 1988. Caged and noncaged 9.3-m2 plots were established in a I-ha alfalfa field to assess this relationship. The cages reduced feeding damage but did not completely exclude the clover root curculio. In 1987, the percentage of alfalfa coverage was greater in the caged than in the noncaged plots. Alfalfa height in the noncaged plots was reduced 23.2-38.9% at all harvests in 1987, and yields were significantly reduced at 3 harvests. In addition, losses of 800-932 kg/ha per harvest were accompanied by significant increases in weed biomass, which contributed to a reduction in total crude protein. The number of dead alfalfa plants was greater in the non caged than in the caged plots in April 1988. Our results indicate that clover root curculio affects yield, quality, and stand persistence of alfalfa in Pennsylvania and likely throughout the Northeast.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 1995

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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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