Comparison of Alternative Management Approaches for Lepidopterous Larvae in Fall Lettuce
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AbstractFor the second year, a large block experiment was conducted at the Yuma Ag Center to compare the field performance of three lettuce management programs for control of lepidopterous larvae. Conventional, experimental and biorational insecticides were sprayed to control beet armyworm, cabbage looper and Heliothis species throughout the growing season. Differences in populations of total larvae among the four treatments, relative to insecticide treatments and timing of application were observed throughout the season. In general, the standard and experimental treatments provided the most consistent control of lepidopterous larvae following each application. Harvest data showed that the spray regimes had a significant influence of head lettuce yield or quality. Maturity and quality were significantly reduced in the untreated control. An economic analysis shows that net returns varied widely among the management programs at different market prices. In conclusion, this study provides preliminary data to support the need for more development of experimental and biorational insecticide products as alternatives to conventional management programs in desert lettuce production.