Field surveys were conducted to evaluate the prevalence of stalk-boring insects in giant ragweed in Indiana and Michigan soybean fields. Greenhouse studies were also conducted to determine whether stalk-boring insects had a negative impact on control of giant ragweed with glyphosate. In the June 2005 field surveys, 18 to 30% of all giant ragweed plants sampled contained stalk-boring insects or insect tunnels. Languriidae, Noctuidae, Pyralidae, and Tortricidae families were found most often at the time glyphosate was being applied to soybean fields to control giant ragweed. Cerambycidae and Curculionidae families were typically found later in the season after herbicide applications were completed. In the August field surveys in Indiana, 28 to 62% of the giant ragweed plants that showed evidence of stalk-boring insects were not controlled by POST herbicide applications suggesting that control was compromised by the presence of stalk-boring insects. In greenhouse studies, glyphosate efficacy on 15-cm-tall giant ragweed was enhanced by the presence of stalk-boring insects; however, glyphosate efficacy on 45-cm plants was reduced by the presence of stalk-boring insects. Overall, this research suggests that there is a possibility that stalk-boring insects could reduce glyphosate efficacy on giant ragweed.
Nomenclature: Giant ragweed, Ambrosia trifida L. AMBTR; soybean, Glycine max (L.) Merr.; Lepidoptera: Noctuidae; Lepidoptera: Tortricideae; Lepidoptera: Pyralidae; Coleoptera: Cerambycidae; Coleoptera: Curculionidae; Coleoptera: Languriidae; European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis (Hubner).