An overview of data from five research groups participating in a 3-year pilot test on the efficacy of foliar applications of Beauveria bassiana (Balsamo) Vuillemin for control of Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say), populations in the northern United States is presented. Four treatments were used at each site: high and low B. bassiana dosages (5 × 1013 colony forming units (CFU) per hectare (ha) and 5 × 1012 CFU/ha), the recommended insecticide for each region, and an untreated check. The primary response variable was potato yield. For analyses considering test sites as replicates, during all 3 years the highest yields were produced in plots treated with insecticides. Within test sites, yields from plots receiving B. bassiana applications were greater than control plot yields in 8 of 24 trials but in only two of these instances, B. bassiana plot yields also did not differ from insecticide plot yields. Evaluating 1983 data from all states together, no differences were found between either high or low B. bassiana treatments and controls. The 1983 study design allowed no plot replication within states. In 1985, an altered plot design providing within-site replication demonstrated increased yield with increased dosage of B. bassiana when initial egg density was used as a covariate.
Potato yields greater than control plot yields were noted with a minimum of 5.39 and 6.62 × 1011 CFU/ha B. bassiana. The lowest B. bassiana concentration producing yields not significantly different from insecticide plot yields was 6.62 × 1012 CFU/ha (Rhode Island, 1984). Defoliation ratings did not differ between B. bassiana treatments and controls in 1984 and 1985, although variability was found between yields.