Impact of Neonicotinoid Seed Treatments on Thrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) and Soybean Yield in Virginia and North Carolina

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Currently there are several neonicotinoid insecticide seed treatments registered for use on soybean (Glycine max L.), with disparity in adoption rates in the eastern United States. A complex of seedling insect pests is found in mid-south soybean, but thrips are the primary early season pest of soybean in Virginia and North Carolina. Published knowledge regarding their impact on soybean yield is minimal, as is the impact of thrips on soybean yield; thrips species composition is also understudied. In 2008 through 2010, nine field experiments in Virginia and North Carolina were conducted to evaluate the impact on thrips population dynamics; the influence on yield of neonicotinoid seed treatments, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam, was reported from nine of these experiments. Moreover, thrips species abundance was recorded in three of these experiments. Both imidacloprid and thiamethoxam reduced thrips densities compared with untreated soybean. Thiamethoxam was more effective than imidacloprid in reducing adult thrips densities at 5 wk after planting. Adult densities peaked at 3 wk after planting, followed by larval densities, which peaked at 4 wk after planting. The most abundant thrips species was Frankliniella fusca (Hinds), followed by Neohydatothrips variabilis (Beach). Other common species included F. occidentalis (Pergande) and F. tritici (Fitch). In general, F. fusca was more common earlier in the season, while N. variabilis was more common later in the season. There were no significant differences in yield among any of the treatments or in the untreated controls. Although neonicotinoid insecticides reduced thrips abundance, data collected in these studies demonstrated that there was no positive yield response.

Keywords: Frankliniella fusca; Neohydatothrips variabilis; imidacloprid; thiamethoxam

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2012

More about this publication?
  • 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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