The combined action of two lepidoteran pests, Plutella xylostella L. (Plutellidae) and Pieris rapae L. (Pieridae), causes significant yield losses in cabbage (Brassica oleracea variety capitata) crops in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Integrated pest management (IPM) strategies for these cropping systems are in their infancy, and sampling plans have not yet been developed. We used statistical resampling to assess the performance of fixed sample size plans (ranging from 10 to 50 plants). First, the precision (D = SE/mean) of the plans in estimating the population mean was assessed. There was substantial variation in achieved D for all sample sizes, and sample sizes of at least 20 and 45 plants were required to achieve the acceptable precision level of D ≤ 0.3 at least 50 and 75% of the time, respectively. Second, the performance of the plans in classifying the population density relative to an economic threshold (ET) was assessed. To account for the different damage potentials of the two species the ETs were defined in terms of standard insects (SIs), where 1 SI = 1 P. rapae = 5 P. xylostella larvae. The plans were implemented using different economic thresholds (ETs) for the three growth stages of the crop: precupping (1 SI/plant), cupping (0.5 SI/plant), and heading (4 SI/plant). Improvement in the classification certainty with increasing sample sizes could be seen through the increasing steepness of operating characteristic curves. Rather than prescribe a particular plan, we suggest that the results of these analyses be used to inform practitioners of the relative merits of the different sample sizes.
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Vol. 102 • No. 3