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Classical Biological Control of Soil Insects in Field Corn and Alfalfa 1997

Project Leaders:Elson Shields & Tony Testa

Objective:

Assess the ability of established long-term persistent H. bacteriophora 'Oswego' populations to effectively respond to herbivore invasions under five rotation cropping systems.

Results:

In all of the plots previously inoculated, nematode levels at the beginning of the 1997 growing season were fairly high. As expected, nematode populations dropped throughout the growing season with the absence of insect hosts. Nematode populations in the plots rotated to alfalfa and alfalfa/timothy declined at rates similar to those of the fallow plots. The continuous corn plots were severely damaged by wildlife feeding and had to be replanted in mid-June. As a result, the corn rootworm population failed to become established, and the nematode population also declined in these plots.