Can cover crops reduce leafhopper abundance in vineyards?
AuthorsKent M. Daane
Michael J. Costello
Authors AffiliationsK.M. Daane is Associate Specialist, Center for Biological Control, Division of Insect Biology (Dept. ESPM), UC Berkeley, stationed at the Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier; M.J. Costello is Farm Advisor, UC Cooperative Extension, Fresno County.
Hilgardia 52(5):27-33. DOI:10.3733/ca.v052n05p27. September 1998.
In 3 of 4 vineyards we studied, late-season leafhopper density was lower on vines in cover cropped plots than in plots with no cover crops. However, the level of leafhopper reduction (about 15%) was rarely economically important and the mechanisms leading to reduction were not clear. For example, there were few differences in the number of leaf hopper predators or parasitoids on the vines in cover cropped versus no cover plots. However, there were significant between-treatment differences in vine growth. Plots with seasonwide maintenance of a cover crop and resident grasses had a reduction in vine vigor. Lower vine vigor has been associated with lower leafhopper densities and, in our studies conducted from 1993 to 1996, those plots with reduced vine vigor often had the greatest reduction in late-season leafhopper density.
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