In 1992 and 1994, field studies were done to assess the tolerance of transplanted cabbage to simulated insect defoliation and to determine if the defoliation level and growth stage at which defoliation begins influences final yield. In both years, 6 defoliation levels ranging from 0-100% were applied to transplanted cabbage at 4 time intervals. The time intervals began at transplanting, pre-head and head stages and continued until either head stage or harvest. For both years, the only time interval with significantly higher yield than the trans- plant to harvest interval (longest interval) was the head to harvest interval (shortest interval) and significant yield loss occurred only when defoliation was >12.5%. Results suggest that transplanted cabbage can withstand relatively low levels of defoliation before yield loss occurs but that yield loss is also related to the duration over which defoliation occurs. In early growth stages, to protect yield, pest management practices should focus on reducing the interval over which damage occurs. The use of cultural practices that delay the onset of defoliation or allow avoidance of pests could protect yield. These strategies may include using transplants to shorten the time from planting to harvest or using planting dates that allow significant plant growth (i.e., head stage) before defoliators are able to infest the crop and cause significant damage. In addition, management strategies that reduce pest populations can also protect yield but at the head stage should switch to managing pests to protect marketability by reducing aesthetic damage and head contaminants.
Burkness, Eric C.; Gingera, Gloria J.; and Hutchison, W. D.
"Impact of Simulated Insect Defoliation and Timing of Injury on Cabbage Yield in Minnesota,"
The Great Lakes Entomologist, vol 38
Available at: https://scholar.valpo.edu/tgle/vol38/iss1/1