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Suppression of the Boll Weevil in Organic Cotton by Release of Catolaccus Grandis as Part of the Southern Rolling Plain Boll Weevil Eradication Program

R.J. Coleman, J.A. Morales-Ramos, E.G. King, L.A. Wood


The use of synthetic chemicals is prohibited in the production of cotton grown for organic certification. Obviously, management of the boll weevil in such cotton located within a boll weevil eradication zone presents unique challenges. As a research effort to evaluate augmentative releases of Catolaccus grandis (Burks) for suppressing boll weevil in organic cotton, a farm within the Southern Rolling Plains Eradication Zone was identified. The test was conducted on 134 acres (six fields) of the Ralph Hoelscher farm.

The main objective of this experiment was to create a sufficiently high parasite to host ratio during the first and second larval generation of boll weevil and greatly suppress or eliminate within-field reproduction of the pest on the organic farm. Six control fields (where boll weevil control was directed by eradication program protocols, and other pest control was by grower discretion) were selected for comparison on the basis of similarities (proximity, planting date, and irrigation potential) to the release fields. Release and control fields were sampled at weekly intervals to measure and compare boll weevil and other pest and natural enemy populations.

Reprinted from Proceedings of the 1996 Beltwide Cotton Conferences pg. 1094
©National Cotton Council, Memphis TN

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Document last modified Sunday, Dec 6 1998