The ability to manage insect pests in a site-specific manner is hindered by the costs and time required to describe pest densities and distributions. The purpose of this study was to determine whether insect pest distributions are related to site-specific management zones (SSMZs). Site-specific management zones, as described in this study, delineate fields into three zones of similar yield potential: high, medium, and low productivity. If insect densities vary across SSMZs, it is possible that management decisions could be made at the SSMZ level instead of treating the whole field. This research was conducted during summers 2001 and 2002 on cooperators’ farms in northeastern Colorado. Surveys were conducted within corn,Zea mays L., fields, so that densities of three common insect pests of Colorado corn could be compared across SSMZ. The three insect pests were western corn rootworm,Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte; European corn borer,Ostrinia nubilalis (Hübner); and western bean cutworm,Richia albicosta (Smith).D.v.virgifera larvae and adults were most common in the high-productivity SSMZ.O.nubilalis larval abundance was similar at three fields, whereas in a fourth field the larvae were most common in the high-productivity SSMZ. In one field that contained substantial numbers ofR.albicosta, egg abundance was similar across SSMZs, whereas larvae were most common in the high-productivity SSMZ. Site-specific management zones seemed to correlate well with the abundance of some insect pests and might prove useful for managing insects in a site-specific manner.
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Vol. 100 • No. 3