Knowledge of the Colorado potato beetle's, Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say), relationship to previous potato crops has contributed to the development of a pest management strategy focused upon crop rotation. Previous investigations revealed that potato rotations exceeding 0.4 km were effective in reducing colonization in current season potato. The current study examines the relationship between beetle abundance in potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) and distance from multiple, previous year potato fields in Wisconsin, and integrates information about the influence of natural habitats adjacent to previous season potato. Colorado potato beetle count data were collected in 1998 and 2008 and distance to previous potato, field areas, and landscape classes were estimated using maps from 1997 and 2007. Poisson regression was used to relate counts to combinations of distance and local landscape characteristics calculated for all fields within 1,500 m of sampled potato. In 1998, beetle counts measured in current season potato declined significantly with increasing distance from previous potato fields and field size did not influence these counts. However, there was no relationship between beetle abundance and distance to prior year potatoes in 2008. In both years, increased proportions of surrounding habitats, previously described as preferred for diapause sites (e.g., wooded field boundaries), did not relate significantly to counts. However, grassland habitat was negatively correlated with counts. Results indicate that distance from previous potato remains an important factor to reduce the magnitude of colonization. This analysis further suggests that certain landscape components (e.g., grassland) may influence infestation, which may be useful for refining future integrated pest management programs.
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Vol. 41 • No. 6