We studied the effects of downy brome, Bromus tectorum L., winter cover crop on several corn, Zea mays L., pests in the summer crop after the cover crop. An experiment was conducted that consisted of two trials with two levels of irrigation, two levels of weed control, and two levels of downy brome. Corn was grown three consecutive years after the downy brome grown during the winter. Banks grass mites, Oligonychus pratensis (Banks), twospotted spider mites, Tetranychus urticae Koch, and predatory mites from the genus Neoseiulus were present in downy brome at the beginning of the growing season. They moved into corn, but their numbers did not differ significantly across the treatments, Larval western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte, feeding on corn roots was evaluated the second and third years of corn, production. Irrigation and herbicide treatments had no significant effects on rootworm injury levels. In one trial, rootworm injury ratings were significantly greater in treatments with a history of high versus low brome, but this effect was not significant in the other trial. Rootworm injury seemed to be similar across plots with different surface soil moistures. This suggests that the use of a winter cover crop such as downy brome will not have a major negative impact the arthropods studied.
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Vol. 103 • No. 2