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In this publication, we provide information on the identification, life cycle, damage and pest management strategies for the insect pests of sunflowers in the northern Great Plains of the United States and southern Canada.
Sunflowers can be a high-risk crop because of potential losses from diseases, insects, birds and weeds.
Generally, the ET increases as cost of control increases and decreases as the crop value increases.
Fields should be evaluated regularly to determine pest population levels.
Producers should examine their operations and minimize pest damage by adopting IPM practices based on the use of economic thresholds (when available) and by carefully combining monitoring and various pest management strategies.
An economic injury level (EIL) is defined as the minimum pest density that will cause economic damage.
An EIL recognizes that treatment is justified for some pest species while others are not of economic importance.
An economic threshold (ET) is the level of pest density at which tactics must be applied to prevent an increasing pest population from causing economic losses. The ET has been defined most extensively for economic insect pests.
IPM also recommends the judicious use of chemical pesticides when needed and suggests ways to maximize effectiveness and minimize impact on nontarget organisms and the environment.
One major component of a pest management program is determining when tactics should be implemented to prevent economic loss.