Global Warming Likely to Result in Increased Insecticide Sprays in the Northeast

# of Insecticide Sprays for Sweet Corn (Today)

# of Insecticide Sprays for Sweet Corn (Today)

The U.S. is likely to warm substantially over the next 40 years. Along the eastern seaboard, average temperatures will increase in a northward direction. Future temperatures in New York State will be similar to current temperatures in the Carolinas. Increased temperatures and earlier onset of the growing season will reduce the winter mortality of insects, increase the rate of insect growth and increase the number of generations during the crop season. In response, insecticide applications are likely to increase in the northeast-a point recently made in a major climate change report from USDA.

“A warming trend is likely to lead to increased pesticide use in the Northeast due to earlier arrival of migratory insects, higher winter-time survival of insects that currently are only marginally adapted to the region, and more generations of insects within a single season.

With more pests shifting northward, generation times decreasing, and abundances increasing in the future, management costs are expected to increase due to more frequent application of pesticides. For example, pesticide applications to control lepidopteran pests (e.g., moths) on sweet corn decrease with increase in latitude from 15 to 32 times per year in Florida, four to eight times per year in Delaware, and zero to five times per year in New York. “

Author(s): Walthall, C.L., et al.
Affiliation: USDA
Title: Climate change and agriculture in the United States: effects and adaptation
Source: USDA, February 2013. Available at:

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