Survey and assessment of cotton insects associated with weeping lovegrass, Eragrostis curvula (Schrad.) nees, in wind-strip cropping systems
Wind erosion of topsoil is a severe problem in the Texas High Plains, an area of intensive cotton production. In this investigation, a survey and assessment of insects associated with weeping lovegrass, Eragrostis curvula (Schrad.) Nees, was conducted to determine the entomological problems and benefits of a cotton/weeping lovegrass wind-strip cropping system on the High Plains. The western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis Pergande, was the most economically important cotton pest found in association with weeping lovegrass. Although some cotton pests were associated with weeping lovegrass, no indication of increased pest problems was detected in cotton grown between terraces sown to weeping lovegrass. Key beneficial arthropods of High Plains cotton pests were found also in association with weeping lovegrass. Therefore, weeping lovegrass wind-strips may serve as an early source of beneficial arthropod population buildup. An overwintering investigation of the boll weevil, Anthonomus grandis Boheman, conducted in the Texas Rolling Plains area indicated that caged boll weevils could successfully overwinter in the crowns of weeping lovegrass.