Border treatment to reduce insecticide use in seed potato production: Biological, economic, and managerial analysis

Matthew W. Carroll, Edward B. Radcliffe, Ian V. MacRae, David W. Ragsdale, Kent D. Olson, Thaddee Badibanga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Worldwide, Myzus persicae (Sulzer) is considered the key vector of Potato leafroll virus (PLRV). In the northern Great Plains, introduction of PLRV into seed potato fields is coincident with mid-summer dispersal of winged M. persicae from local crop and weed hosts. Initial colonization of potato fields tends to occur at field margins. In 2003, experiments were conducted in 23 seed potato fields to evaluate effectiveness of targeted methamidophos applications for M. persicae control. These applications provided excellent control (>94%) of colonizing aphids in the borders, slowed subsequent within field spread, and necessitated treatment of 95% fewer hectares than would treating entire fields. Across entire fields, control costs averaged $4.22 per ha for border treatments compared to a hypothetical $58.91 per ha for applying methamidophos to entire fields. Thus targeted insecticide applications can provide effective M. persicae control in seed potato fields while greatly lowering insecticide use and application costs overall.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-37
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Potato Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements This research was sponsored by American Farmland Trust Center for Agriculture in the Environment and funded in part by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. We are grateful for the cooperation of the seed potato growers who participated in this project. Collectively, the acreage they entered into this experiment represented more than 4.6% of the total Minnesota and North Dakota seed potato acreage certified in 2003. We thank Gregg Halverson, President and CEO of Black Gold for his permission to use information on Black Gold’s pest management practices. We also thank Robert Suranyi, Willem Schrage, Jeff Davis, Erin Hladilek, and all the undergraduate field workers who helped make this project a success.


  • Green peach aphid
  • Methamidophos
  • Myzus persicae
  • Targeted applications


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