Kentucky State University

Poster Title

Beneficial Insect Populations in Late Planted Sweet Corn Bordered by Native Perennial Plants and Pasture in Central Kentucky

Institution

Kentucky State University

Abstract

Prior to European settlement, native perennial plants indigenous to the United States were abundant covering entire regions of Kentucky and bordering states. Native perennials are important for ecosystem and environmental health. These plants provide habitat for wildlife including beneficial insects, also known as natural enemies. It has been demonstrated that noncrop plants such as some weeds and native perennial grasses and flowering plants planted near crop borders can enhance populations of natural enemies. The objective of this research was to identify and quantify beneficial insects in sweet corn and native perennial and pasture border rows and compare their numbers in each habitat. Research was conducted on the Kentucky State University Research and Demonstration Farm in Franklin County, Ky. Sticky traps 15 cm x 15 cm were set in sweet corn and native perennial and pasture border rows to compare diversity and abundance of insects. Native perennial border rows contained 16 species of plants. There were five grasses and eleven species of flowering plants. Pasture borders were a mixture of grasses and broad leaf weeds. Traps were collected and analyzed for 9 weeks. Insects were identified to family and species when possible. Big eyed bugs (Geocoris sp.), syrphid flies (Syrphidae), lady beetles (Coccinellidae), green lacewings (Chrysoperla sp.), and minute pirate bugs (Orius insidiosus) were the most abundant insects caught. Results indicated that this research should continue for several more growing seasons to determine if age and maturity of the border plots influence beneficial insect numbers.

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Beneficial Insect Populations in Late Planted Sweet Corn Bordered by Native Perennial Plants and Pasture in Central Kentucky

Prior to European settlement, native perennial plants indigenous to the United States were abundant covering entire regions of Kentucky and bordering states. Native perennials are important for ecosystem and environmental health. These plants provide habitat for wildlife including beneficial insects, also known as natural enemies. It has been demonstrated that noncrop plants such as some weeds and native perennial grasses and flowering plants planted near crop borders can enhance populations of natural enemies. The objective of this research was to identify and quantify beneficial insects in sweet corn and native perennial and pasture border rows and compare their numbers in each habitat. Research was conducted on the Kentucky State University Research and Demonstration Farm in Franklin County, Ky. Sticky traps 15 cm x 15 cm were set in sweet corn and native perennial and pasture border rows to compare diversity and abundance of insects. Native perennial border rows contained 16 species of plants. There were five grasses and eleven species of flowering plants. Pasture borders were a mixture of grasses and broad leaf weeds. Traps were collected and analyzed for 9 weeks. Insects were identified to family and species when possible. Big eyed bugs (Geocoris sp.), syrphid flies (Syrphidae), lady beetles (Coccinellidae), green lacewings (Chrysoperla sp.), and minute pirate bugs (Orius insidiosus) were the most abundant insects caught. Results indicated that this research should continue for several more growing seasons to determine if age and maturity of the border plots influence beneficial insect numbers.