Predicting economic losses from the continued spread of the Mexican rice borer (Lepidoptera: Crambidae).
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The Mexican rice borer, Eoreuma loftini (Dyar) (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), is an invasive species that originated from Mexico, and it is threatening to cause major economic losses to sugarcane, Saccharum spp., and rice, Oryza sativa L., industries in Louisiana. The insect is expected to reach sugarcane and rice production areas in Louisiana by 2008, and infest all of Louisiana sugarcane and rice industries by 2035. When all sugarcane in Louisiana becomes infested, annual yield losses of $220 million would be expected for a cultivar of comparable susceptibility to LCP 85-384 (assuming this cultivar is planted on 100% of the production area). This also assumes the use of the current practice of rainfed production and one application of insecticide, which is presently used by farmers in Louisiana. Irrigation with 30 cm of water is predicted to reduce estimated losses by 29%, whereas four applications of a biorational insecticide such as tebufenozide are expected to reduce the loss in revenue by 53%. The use of the resistant 'HoCP 85-845' would reduce the projected loss in revenue by 24%. Combining all three management tactics on sugarcane, anticipated net loss in revenue would decrease by 66%. The rice industry in Louisiana is projected to suffer from a loss in revenue of $45 million when the entire state is infested. A 77% reduction in loss in revenue is expected with one application of lambda-cyhalothrin. A quarantine on east Texas sugarcane is estimated to save the Louisiana industry between $1.1 billion and $3.2 billion (depending on management) during the time needed for the insect to fully invade the state's sugarcane and rice producing area by natural migration rather than by accidental introduction. The rapid deployment of appropriate management tactics will have a key role in reducing the anticipated economic impact of E. loftini once it becomes a pest in Louisiana sugarcane and rice.