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Project description

Insect management in alfalfa via sheep grazing. (00CC021)
Program UC IPM competitive research grants program
Principal
investigators
E.T. Natwick, Cooperative Extension, Imperial County
J.N. Guerrero, Cooperative Extension, Imperial County
Host/habitat Alfalfa
Pest Egyptian Alfalfa Weevil
Discipline Entomology
Beneficial
organism
Sheep
Review
panel
Cultural Controls
Start year (duration)  2000 (Two Years)
Objectives Compare timing of sheep grazing in alfalfa for effects on populations of Egyptian alfalfa weevil, predacious insects and spiders in contrast to the highly toxic standard insecticide treatments used for control of Egyptian alfalfa weevil and their impact on beneficial arthropods.

Final report The sheep and other supplies and equipment were purchased during the summer and fall. Plots were established in December on a stand of CUF 101 alfalfa, and sampling within plots for weevil adults and eggs and predators was initiated. Paddock fences were built and on December 17, 2001, sheep were delivered to a holding area of the alfalfa field to acclimate to the conditions and feed. Pregrazing crop yields samples were taken and grazing in plots began on December 21, 2001. Sheep were moved into the plots of the replicated experiment on January 3, 2002. Four sheep will be fistulate on January 9, 2002, and cannulas will be inserted to facilitate the extraction of extrusa for examination for weevil eggs, weevil larvae, and other insects. Insecticide treatment will be initiated when the Egyptian alfalfa weevil treatment threshold of 20 larvae per sweep is reached or when there are 50 to 60 cowpea aphids per stem.
Second-year
progress
The sheep and other supplies and equipment were purchased during the summer and fall. Plots were established in December on a stand of CUF 101 alfalfa and sampling within plots for weevil adults, eggs and predators was initiated. Paddock fences were built and on December 17, 2001. Sheep were delivered to a holding area of the alfalfa field to acclimate to the conditions and feed. Pre-grazing crop yields samples were taken and grazing in plots began on December 21, 2001. Sheep were moved into the plots of the replicated experiment on January 3, 2002. Four sheep will be fistulate on January 9, 2002, and cannulas will be inserted to facilitate the extraction of extrusa for examination for weevil eggs, weevil larvae, and other insects. Insecticide treatment will be initiated when the Egyptian alfalfa weevil treatment threshold of 20 larvae per sweep is reached or when there are 50 to 60 cowpea aphids per stem.

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