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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Crop rotation reduces the cost of Colorado potato beetle control in potatoes

Published source details

Speese J. & Sterett S.B. (1998) Crop rotation reduces the cost of Colorado potato beetle control in potatoes. HortTechnology, 8, 229-234


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Use crop rotation in potato farming systems Natural Pest Control

A replicated, controlled study in 1994-1996 in Virginia, USA (Speese & Sterrett 1998) found that potatoes Solanum tuberosum grown in 1995 in plots rotated with wheat Triticum sp. or double-cropped wheat and soybean Glycine max in 1994 had lower Colorado potato beetle Leptinotarsa decemlineata (pest) populations and 47% higher yields in 1995 (22.52 vs. 15.34 t/ha) than plots where potatoes were grown in 1994. In 1996, Colorado potato beetle populations were much smaller and not significantly different between plots rotated with cotton Gossypium sp. or left fallow and non-rotated plots. In both years, more insecticide sprays were required in non-rotated plots, and in 1995 rotated plots had a return of US$2,342.50/ha compared to US$552.50/ha for non-rotated plots. The experiment used 7.6 m long, three row wide plots in 1994-1995 and 6.1 m long, four row wide plots in 1995-1996. In 1994 rotation crops were wheat or wheat-soybean double crop, and in 1995 rotation crops were cotton or fallow. Unrotated control plots were replicated four times, whilst each rotated plot  was replicated twice. Rotated and non-rotated plots were a minimum of 150 m apart. Insecticides were applied based on threshold beetle numbers.