Planting date effects on arthropod infestation and viral plant disease are undocumented for winter wheat, Triticum aestivum L., in South Dakota and the northern Great Plains. Winter wheat was planted over three dates (early, middle, and late; generally from late August to late September) to determine the effect on abundance of insect pests, incidence of plant damage, incidence of viral plant disease, and grain yield. The study was conducted simultaneously at two sites in South Dakota over three consecutive cropping seasons for a total of six site yr. Cereal aphids (Homoptera: Aphididae) were abundant in three site yr. Rhopalosiphum padi (L.), bird cherry-oat aphid, was the most abundant cereal aphid at the Brookings site, whereas Schizaphis graminum (Rondani), greenbug, predominated at Highmore. Aphid-days were greater in early versus late plantings. Aphid abundance in middle plantings depended on aphid species and site, but it usually did not differ from that in early plantings. Incidence of Barley yellow dwarf virus (family Luteoviridae, genus Luteovirus, BYDV) declined with later planting and was correlated with autumnal abundance of cereal aphids. Incidence of BYDV ranged from 24 to 81% among 1999 plantings and was <8% in other years. Damage to seedling wheat by chewing insects varied for two site-years, with greater incidence in early and middle plantings. Wheat streak mosaic virus, spring infestations of cereal aphids, wheat stem maggot, and grasshoppers were insignificant. Yield at Brookings was negatively correlated with BYDV incidence but not cereal aphid abundance, whereas yield at Highmore was negatively correlated with aphid abundance but not BYDV incidence. Planting on 20 September or later reduced damage from chewing insects and reduced cereal aphid infestations and resulting BYDV incidence.
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Vol. 98 • No. 6