Compensatory Ability of Strawberries to Bud and Flower Removal: Implications for Managing the Strawberry Bud Weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)

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The strawberry bud weevil, Anthonomus signatus Say, is considered a major pest of perennial matted row strawberry plantings in the eastern United States with an economic threshold of 2 clipped buds per meter row. No relationship was found between the number of naturally clipped buds per meter (range, 0–20) and subsequent yield over 2 field seasons for the strawberry cultivar ‘Earliglow’ indicating the potential for compensatory fruit production. In field experiments, flower buds or open flowers were removed by hand and the impact on yield for 3 strawberry cultivars measured. For the cultivar ‘Jewel’, removal of all primary or secondary buds did not result in a significant decrease in yield relative to control plots, although the removal of all tertiary plus higher order buds did result in a significant decrease. For ‘Seneca’ and ‘Kent’, removal of all primary, secondary, or tertiary buds did not significantly decrease yield compared with control plots. Compensation to bud removal was achieved by increasing fruit weight of remaining buds and increasing the number of higher order buds matured. When similar treatments were applied to flowers, we observed a negative impact on yield for all 3 cultivars. In 1996 we assessed the benefit of treating for strawberry bud weevil when injury reached the economic threshold at 7 commercial strawberry operations in upstate New York. Untreated plots had significantly more clipped buds per meter than treated plots (13 versus 4), however, there was no difference in yield.

Keywords: Anthonomus signatus; compensation; frost injury; simulated damage; strawberry

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 1999

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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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