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Vegetable IPM Updates Archive
Cooperative Extension
Weather and Insects (May 5, 2010)

You may have noticed in the past week or so the increase in insect activity on local crops. In general, insect activity has been relatively light to moderate this spring largely due to the cool weather we experienced in March and April. The exception has been the widespread incidence of seedcorn maggots affecting melon and cotton stands over the past month. The occurrence of the maggots was consistent with the cool and wet conditions we experienced this spring, and the addition of extra organic matter (i.e., manure, heavy produce residue) in fields did not help matters. Within the past week, numbers of whitefly adults and cabbage looper larvae have increased on our melon crops at the Yuma Ag Center. As we start to experience the hot and dry weather typical in May and June one can expect insect activity to increase. That is because local weather patterns have a significant impact on the abundance of insect pests in our crops. Components of weather, mainly temperature and moisture, can either promote insect population growth or cause populations to decline. For a more detailed explanation on the impact of weather on insects go to this link.

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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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