Volume 6, Issue 2, April Issue - 2018, Pages:358-369

Authors: Ekrem Atakan,Serkan Pehlivan
Abstract: Influence of different cotton sowing dates on densities of pestiferous thrips Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) and its predators Orius spp. [Orius niger Wolff and Orius laevigatus (Fieber)] is not clearly understood. The aim of this study is to find best sowing date of cotton to manage populations of thrips and to find out prey-predator interactions in cotton flowers by use of plastic mulching technique. Field experiments were conducted in the Çukurova region of Turkey during the years 2008-2009. Cotton was sown on 1st - 5th March (early sown), 15th - 16th March (early sown), 29th to 30th March (early sown), 15th to 16th April (normal sown) and on 28th April (normal sown). Result of the study suggested that, thrips and its predators shown significantly higher population densities in normal sown than those on early sown cotton (P < 0.05). On the other hand significant and positive relationship was reported between thrips and Orius numbers on early-sown cotton (1 March or 5 March) (P < 0.05). Numbers of thrips per Orius were very low in most of sampling weeks in June-July period particularly in early-sown cotton (less than 15 preys for one predator) which indicating that, F. occidentalis has a high predation risk by Orius attacks in early-season cotton. Furthermore, higher and significant yield was obtained from early-sown cotton with the plastic mulching technique. Considering the consistent suppression of F. occidenatlis by the Orius spp. and significantly high cotton yields, early-mulch-sown of cotton at the beginning of March seems to be a good agricultural practices.
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