Seasonal Abundance and Control of the Lettuce Aphid, Nasonovia ribisnigri, on Head Lettuce in Arizona
AuthorPalumbo, John C.
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AbstractSmall plot studies were conducted in 1999/2000 to examine the population abundance and control of the lettuce aphid on winter and spring head lettuce crops. Seven, 0.25 acre planting of head lettuce were established beginning in October with final harvest occurring in April. Replicated plots within several planting were treated with an Admire treatment at planting, a sidedress application of Platinum post-planting or allowed to remained untreated. Lettuce aphids were first detected in our experimental area on Feb 14 in PD 3 in untreated plants. Temperature had an important influence upon lettuce aphid development based on our field observations. Population appeared to increase in early March when the average daily temperature was about 65 °F. We observed a sharp decline in population abundance in April where daytime highs exceeded 90 °F. We were surprised by the marginal level of lettuce aphid control provided by the systemic insecticides. Lettuce treated with Admire in the early planting dates appeared to prevent lettuce aphids from significantly infesting lettuce heads at harvest. In the later planting dates, both Admire and Platinum contained significantly fewer aphids and infested plants than the untreated control. However, lettuce aphids in the last 3 planting dates were able to colonize plants and infest a larger proportion of heads at levels not considered commercially acceptable. We are hesitant to draw conclusions from our results collected from a single season , and plan to replicate this work next year under different environmental conditions and higher rates of Admire and Platinum.