The combined effect of planting date, insecticide treatment, and host-plant resistance was studied in northeast Louisiana for management of the sorghum midge, Stenodiplosis sorghicola (Coquillett), during 1994 and 1995. Significantly higher numbers of sorghum midges were observed visiting flowering spikelets of the midge-susceptible sorghum hybrid (Delta and Pine Land ‘DP1552’) than those of the midge-resistant sorghum hybrid (DeKalb ‘DK-60’). Numbers of midges averaged 1.2 and 0.6 per flowering panicle in the susceptible and resistant sorghum hybrids, respectively, in 1994 and 1.8 and 1.0, respectively, in 1995. Midge densities increased significantly as the sorghum flowering season progressed. Sorghum midge reached peak densities during the first half of August in 1994 and 1995. The length of the flowering period in the early-planted (mid-March) sorghum was significantly longer compared with the flowering periods in the mid-April, mid-May, or mid-June planted sorghums. This resulted in prolonged exposure of flowering panicles to ovipositing midges and increased midge damage in the early-planted (mid-March) sorghum. Damage by sorghum midge was significantly higher in the early-planted (mid-March) sorghum hybrids than in the late-planted (mid-June) sorghum hybrids. The midge-susceptible hybrid produced highest yields when planted in mid-April and mid-May (optimum period) and lower yields when planted very early (i.e., mid-March) or late (i.e., mid-June). No significant differences were observed in yields for the resistant hybrid at any planting date in 1994. However, in 1995, significantly lower yields were recorded in resistant sorghum planted in mid-June. Levels of sorghum midge damage and sorghum seed yields in the untreated resistant hybrid were not significantly different than those observed in the insecticide-treated susceptible hybrid. Numbers of adult midges captured on sticky traps were positively correlated to numbers of visual estimates of ovipositing midge females visiting flowering spikelets.
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Vol. 93 • No. 4