Original Articles

The effect of plant density on the injuriousness of Busseola fusca (Fuller) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in grain sorghum

Published in: South African Journal of Plant and Soil
Volume 8, issue 2, 1991, pages: 85–87
DOI: 10.1080/02571862.1991.10634585
Author(s): J. van den Berg, Republic of South Africa, J., B.J. van Rensburg, Republic of South Africa, J.H. GiliomeeDepartment of Entomology and Nematology, Republic of South Africa


The influence of five different plant densities on whorl damage, internal damage, tillering and yield of grain sorghum under attack by Busseola fusca was evaluated over two seasons, using artificial infestation of three egg batches (90 eggs) per 5-m row. No difference in the number of tillers produced by infested and uninfested rows was observed and tillering was negatively related to plant density. No difference in the incidence of whorl damage existed between the different treatments. The lowest incidence of dead heart occurred at the lowest plant density. Initial plant density did not have a significant effect on either the degree of internal damage or the number of internally-damaged stems caused by moderate infestations of B. fusca. Yields were significantly reduced by infestation in one season only. This was attributed to the effect of climatic conditions more favourable for growth.

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