Broadleaf weeds found in marginal areas by fields, roads, and ditches were controlled with herbicides in 23-km2 areas of the Mississippi Delta in March or April of 1999, 2000, and 2001. There were two treated and two untreated 23-km2 areas in each of the 3 test yr. The herbicides used were Trimec® or Strike 3™, and both contain mecoprop, 2, 4-D, and dicamba. Broadleaf weeds can serve as early season food and reproductive hosts for tarnished plant bugs, and population buildups can occur on these weeds before movement of plant bugs into cotton. Cotton fields in the treated sites and in untreated 23-km2 sites were sampled for tarnished plant bugs weekly during June and July of all 3 yr. Overall mean numbers of tarnished plant bugs were significantly lower in cotton in the treated areas. The average reduction in overall mean numbers of plant bugs was 50% for the 3-yr period. Grower costs for insecticides used to control plant bugs were lower in cotton in the treated test sites in all 3 yr. The average net savings in plant bug control costs was estimated at $35,477/yr for growers in the treated areas over the 3 yr of the study. Elimination of broadleaf weeds was found to be an effective method for reducing numbers of plant bugs in cotton. However, it did not reduce numbers of tarnished plant bugs in any year to a level in cotton where additional control with insecticides was not needed.
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