Effects of Burial and Soil Condition on Postharvest Mortality of Boll Weevils (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in Fallen Cotton Fruit

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2004-04-01
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Greenberg, Shoil
Showler, A. T.
Bradford, J. M.
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Sappington, Thomas
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Entomology

The Department of Entomology seeks to teach the study of insects, their life-cycles, and the practicalities in dealing with them, for use in the fields of business, industry, education, and public health. The study of entomology can be applied towards evolution and ecological sciences, and insects’ relationships with other organisms & humans, or towards an agricultural or horticultural focus, focusing more on pest-control and management.

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The Department of Entomology was founded in 1975 as a result of the division of the Department of Zoology and Entomology.

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Abstract

Effects of soil condition and burial on boll weevil, Anthonomus grandis grandis Boheman, mortality in fallen cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L., fruit were assessed in this study. During hot weather immediately after summer harvest operations in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas, burial of infested fruit in conventionally tilled field plots permitted significantly greater survival of weevils than in no-tillage plots. Burial of infested squares protected developing weevils from heat and desiccation that cause high mortality on the soil surface during and after harvest in midsummer and late summer. A laboratory assay showed that burial of infested squares resulted in significantly greater weevil mortality in wet than in dry sandy or clay soils. Significantly fewer weevils rose to the soil surface after burial of infested bolls during winter compared with bolls set on the soil surface, a likely result of wetting by winter rainfall. A combination of leaving infested fruit exposed to heat before the onset of cooler winter temperatures and burial by tillage when temperatures begin to cool might be an important tactic for reducing populations of boll weevils that overwinter in cotton fields.

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This article is from Journal of Economic Entomology 97 (2004): 409, doi:10.1603/0022-0493-97.2.409.

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