An easy change within the selection of grass varieties for a lot of lawns in America could be a vital instrument for warding off fall armyworm infestations, in line with new analysis.
St. Augustinegrass (Stenotaphrum secundatum) is the most common turfgrass species within the southeastern United States, and it’s sometimes planted with a single cultivar throughout a whole garden. However a number of cultivated varieties, or cultivars, of St. Augustine grass are commercially out there, and panorama entomologists on the College of Florida and the U.S. Division of Agriculture lately sought to seek out out which, if any, of these cultivars, supplied pure resistance to the autumn armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda), a caterpillar that generally damages lawns.
Their checks discovered that not one of the six frequent St. Augustinegrass cultivars rose above the remaining in resisting fall armyworm infestation. However, when the varieties have been planted collectively in mixtures of two or four types, it was a unique story — the autumn armyworm most well-liked the one-cultivar plantings.
Their report is printed immediately within the journal Environmental Entomology.
To check the autumn armyworms’ choice amongst single and several St. Augustinegrass cultivars, the researchers performed a wide range of exams. They fed teams of the caterpillars or larvae, diets of unique varieties to check the susceptibility of every type to the bugs. Then they fed the worms combined diets of grass clippings, one cultivar at a time, however, altering the cultivar every two days. In one other take a look at, they positioned the larvae in enclosed plantings of 1, two, or four varieties, permitting them to decide on among the many variations within the plantings. In these checks, the larvae had been measured for qualities comparable to weight, growth charge, and survival fee.