Original Articles

Effect of planting date of maize on damage and yield loss caused by the stalk borer, Busseola fusca (Fuller) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in Lesotho

Published in: South African Journal of Plant and Soil
Volume 16, issue 4, 1999 , pages: 180–185
DOI: 10.1080/02571862.1999.10635007
Author(s): A.A. EbenebeDepartment of Zoology and Entomology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Republic of South Africa, J. van den Berg, Republic of South Africa, T.C. van der LindeDepartment of Zoology and Entomology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Republic of South Africa

Abstract

The effect of the time of planting of maize on the incidence of infestation and yield loss caused by Busseola fusca (Fuller) was studied using five successive plantings (early November to early January) during the 1995/96 and 1996/97 growing seasons. B. fusca infestation resulted in yield losses in both early (November) and late (mid-December to early January) plantings. Increased yield loss was observed at later planting dates. Since the earliest incidence of infestation was recorded in January, it was concluded that the second generation of B. fusca moths (of which the flight activity peaks in February) was responsible for infestations in all plantings. Early planting of maize (November) is, therefore, recommended in order to minimise yield loss due to second generation infestation. Seasonal variation in yield loss due to B. fusca damage ranged between 0.4 and 5.3 during the 1995/96 season and between 12.7 and 36.6% during the 1996/97 season.

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