The effects of planting date and application rate of imidacloprid for control of Schizaphis graminum Rondani, Rhopalosiphum padi L. (Homoptera: Aphididae), and barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) in hard red winter wheat were studied. The first experiment was conducted from 1997 to 1999 at two locations and consisted of three planting dates and four rates of imidacloprid-treated seed. The second experiment was conducted from 2001 to 2002 in Stillwater, OK, and consisted of two varieties of hard red winter wheat seed and four rates of imidacloprid. Aphid densities, occurrence of BYDV, yield components, and final grain yield were measured, and yield differences were used to estimate the economic return obtained from using imidacloprid. In the first study, aphid populations responded to insecticide rate in the early and middle plantings, but the response was reduced in the late planting. Yields increased as insecticide rate increased but did not always result in a positive economic return. In the second study, imidacloprid seed treatments reduced aphid numbers and BYD occurrence, protected yield, and resulted in a positive economic return. The presence of aphids and BYDV lowered yield by reducing fertile head density, total kernel weight, and test weight. Whereas the application of imidacloprid seed treatments often provided positive yield protection, it did not did not consistently provide a positive economic return. A positive economic return was consistently obtained if the cereal aphid was carrying and transmitting BYDV and was more likely to occur if wheat was treated with a low rate if imidacloprid and planted in a “dual purpose” planting date window.
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Vol. 98 • No. 1