The recent release of heat-tolerant tomato cultivars has resulted in increased interest in expanding fresh market tomato from historically early production to late summer and fall in Arkansas. Although insects are generally of minor importance in early production, much concern exists with the greater numbers of insects occurring later during the season. Insect frequency and impact on tomato were determined in studies conducted in northwestern and southern Arkansas in 1993 and 1994. The corn earworm, Helicoverpa zea (Boddie), was the most damaging insect in both locations during both years. Corn earworm larvae were detected throughout the study and caused extensive fruit damage. At the northwestern location, 81.6% of all harvested fruit was damaged by corn earworm larvae in 1993. Although thrips were present at both locations throughout the season, no plants infected with tomato spotted wilt virus were detected. Other potential insect threats, i.e., stink bugs, flea beetles and tomato pinworms, had no apparent effect on late-season production. Corn earworm management is well developed for early tomato production and should be easily adapted to late-season production. This should insure the success of late-season tomato production in Arkansas.

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