Study

Insect populations and feeding damage among birdsfoot trefoil-grass mixtures under different cutting schedules

  • Published source details Mackun I.R. & Baker B.S. (1990) Insect populations and feeding damage among birdsfoot trefoil-grass mixtures under different cutting schedules. Journal of Economic Entomology, 83, 260-267

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use mixed pasture

Action Link
Natural Pest Control

Delay mowing or first grazing date on pasture or grassland

Action Link
Natural Pest Control
  1. Use mixed pasture

    A randomised, replicated, controlled trial in 1984-1985 at two sites in West Virginia, USA (Mackun & Baker 1990) found that pest insect numbers varied between monoculture pasture and mixed pasture. Spittlebug (Cercopidae) nymphs were significantly more abundant in mixed pastures of bird's-foot trefoil Lotus corniculatus with either perennial ryegrass Lolium perenne or orchardgrass Dactylis glomerata than in a bird's-foot trefoil monoculture. Mirid (Miridae) nymphs were significantly less abundant on two types of mixed pasture than monoculture. The ryegrass and bird's-foot trefoil mix had the highest numbers of adult and nymph leafhoppers and planthoppers (Cicadellidae and Delphacidae), mirids and aphids (Aphididae) compared to other mixes and bird's-foot trefoil monoculture. Forage yields were not different between the different pasture types. There were five pasture mixtures: bird's-foot trefoil monoculture (15 kg/ha) or 10 kg/ha bird's-foot trefoil plus: orchardgrass (4 kg/ha), timothy Phleum pratense (4 kg/ha), perennial ryegrass (10 kg/ha) or tall fescue Festuca arundinacea (6 kg/ha). Plots (11 x 5 m) were established in 1983. Insects were sampled seven times in 1984 and eight times in 1985, with five sweepnet samples/plot.

  2. Delay mowing or first grazing date on pasture or grassland

    A replicated, randomised, controlled trial on plots of bird's-foot trefoil Lotus corniculatus pasture mixes in 1984-1985 at two sites in West Virginia, USA (Mackun & Baker 1990) found aphids (Aphididae) were significantly more abundant in plots cut first in July than those cut in June (4.5 vs. 3.7 aphids) at one site. Numbers of all other insects, including spittlebugs (Cercopidae), leafhoppers-planthoppers (Cicadellidae and Delphacidae) and mirids (Miridae), were not significantly different between plots cut in June and plots cut in July. Forage yields did not differ significantly between cutting treatments. Plots were cut on 15 June and 1 September, or 1 July and 1 September. There were four different pasture mixes of bird's-foot trefoil with one other pasture plant species (such as orchardgrass Dactylis glomerata) plus a bird's-foot trefoil monoculture treatment. Plots (11 x 5 m) were established in 1983. Insects were sampled seven times in 1984 and eight times in 1985, with five sweepnet samples/plot.

     

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