Weed management strategies can influence insect infestations in field crops, yet no attempts have been made previously to manipulate weed populations in canola for integrated weed and insect management. Field studies were conducted during 2003 to 2005 at Lacombe and Beaverlodge, Alberta, Canada to manipulate weed and root maggot, Delia spp. (Diptera: Anthomyiidae), interactions in canola. Densities of monocot weeds were varied by altering herbicide applications, with rates ranging from 0 to 100% of the rate recommended. Weed populations declined, and yields were variable with increased herbicide rates. Root maggot damage decreased with increases in monocot weed dry weight for both canola species at both study sites. Results support the hypothesis that heterogenous environments, arising from mixed populations of monocot weeds with canola, minimize opportunities for females of Delia spp. to complete the behavioral sequence required for oviposition, leading to reduced infestation levels in weedy systems. However, effects of dicot weeds on root maggot infestations varied between sites as a result of site-related differences in weed species complexes. When wild mustard was common, crop damage increased, because this weed can serve as an alternate host for root maggots. The study emphasizes the importance of adopting crop management practices that are compatible for both weed and root maggot control.
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Vol. 56 • No. 3