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Vegetable IPM Updates Archive
Cooperative Extension
Insect Losses and Insecticide Usage in Head Lettuce (Apr. 20, 2011)

Since 2004, the UA Vegetable IPM Team has annually surveyed PCAs and growers to document insect pest activity and insecticide usage in head lettuce through interactive workshops. This Thursday, the 2011 Lettuce Pest Losses Workshop will be held at the Yuma Agricultural Center beginning at Noon. The information provided by PCAs and growers during these meetings can be very useful to the lettuce industry. First, the data can be extremely helpful in addressing state and federal regulatory issues by providing "real world" information on insect pest status and insecticides usage. Secondly, from an academic perspective, the results of these surveys provide us with a historic record of insect occurrences which allows us to prioritize some of our research and extension activities. Finally, for PCAs, it can translate their efforts into economic terms for their clientele and confirms their value to the lettuce industry by showing the importance of key insect pests and their cost-effective management in desert lettuce production. For example, results from these surveys over the past 6 years show that 1) costs associated with spray applications and management fees have increased steadily, 2) western flower thrips has become an important economic pest in both fall and spring lettuce, and 3) the use of older, broadly toxic insecticides (OP/Carbamates/Endosulfan) has dropped significantly, whereas use of the newer, softer reduced-risk chemistries (e.g., Radiant, Movento) continues to increase. Of course, PCAs already know this, but these surveys document this information for those less involved with the day-to-day activities of IPM in desert lettuce. To view a complete summary of the Lettuce Insect Losses and Insecticide Usage surveys in Arizona head lettuce from 2004-2010, go to "Assessments of Insect Losses in Lettuce ".

To contact John Palumbo go to:



For questions or comments on any of the topics please contact Marco Pena at the Yuma Agricultural Center.
College of Agriculture, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.

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