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Archive for the ‘Pests’ Category

Delta Farm Press 1

bollworm larvae

Biopesticide offers new form of control for bollworms, budworms

Helicoverpa NPV is found in nature as a pest of certain caterpillars. It does not kill other pests, and is harmless to humans

Apr 17, 2018

A host-specific virus is being used to control bollworms and budworms in Arkansas crops.

Helicoverpa nucleopolyhedrovirus, or just NPV, does not affect humans, plants or other insects, including those that are beneficial.

A fact sheet about Helicoverpa NPV is now available online at http://bit.ly/HelicoverpaNPV. The fact sheet is a joint publication of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, Southern Integrated Pest Management Working Group and the Mid-South Entomologists Working Group.

The bioinsecticide has been studied and in use for years. Gus Lorenz, Extension entomologist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said there is no shortage of research behind the use of this virus.

“This virus has been around for a long time,” he said. “The specific virus we’re looking at from AgBiTech, we’ve been looking at for about three years.”

The product is widely used and is currently in use in many different countries.

“It’s well-adopted in Australia and they’re selling it in South America,” Lorenz said. “It’s used all across the country and they’re pushing it pretty hard in the Mid-South.”

The virus only kills bollworm and budworm larvae that are less than a half-inch long and has no effect on later growth stages also known as instars. Because of this, Lorenz said, the virus should not be used if a producer finds more than five larger larvae in 25 scouting sweeps of a field.

Catch them early

“The virus doesn’t control the pests at later stages,” he said. “The younger larvae are smaller and more susceptible.Ninety percent of what bollworms consume is in the last instars, so you have to catch them before they cause that damage. It’s slow killing, so the last thing you want to do is put it on a late stage larva.”

The virus usually causes death in small larvae within four to six days and can show residual activity through several generations of pests if the conditions are right, according to the publication.

Lorenz said while there is always a possibility for resistance with any insecticide, it is not likely here in the Mid-South.

“If you expose larva to it in the front end of the season and the back end of the season, year in and year out, it could build resistance,” he said, “but it’s not probably anything we’re going to experience.”

As stated in the publication, the virus is safe for tank-mixing. However, along with some other mentioned precautions, Lorenz warns against mixing with high pH water.

“Water with high pH breaks down the matrix of the virus,” he said. “It’s extremely important that it’s not mixed with water with a pH of eight or higher.”

There are restrictions on when to use Helicoverpa NPV in relation to time of year.

TAGS: Insects

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Genetic literacy project

Cotton bollworm-corn earworm hybrid ‘megapest’ discovered in Brazil, could spread to US

It’s the stuff of science fiction. Hybridisation of two caterpillars in Brazil confirmed through extensive genomic testing by CSIRO researchers.

But it’s real and will enable the international agricultural community to stay ahead in the race to combat the megapest.

Helicoverpa armigera and Helicoverpa zea (commonly known as the cotton bollworm and corn earworm, respectively) are the world’s greatest caterpillar pests of broad-acre crops, causing in excess of US $5 billion in control costs and damage each year across Asia, Europe, Africa, America and Australia.

Researchers have used world-first genome mapping technology to confirm the bollworm has been spreading rapidly in Brazil and hybridising with the earworm.

The caterpillar is retaining the strongest characteristics of both species posing a real threat that the new and improved “superbug” could spread into the United States and cause widespread crop destruction.

The hybridisation research is outlined in a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA (PNAS) journal….

“No two hybrids were the same suggesting a ‘hybrid swarm’ where multiple versions of different hybrids can be present within one population,” CSIRO scientist Dr Tom Walsh says.

Read full, original post: Hybridisation and the new frontier against spread of global pests

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.

 

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Daily News Blog

Predatory Birds Can Successfully Replace Pesticide Use in Agriculture

(Beyond Pesticides, March 8, 2018) Simple approaches that increase populations of vertebrate predators, like bats and falcons on farms, can reduce pesticide use, increase on-farm productivity, and conserve wildlife, according to a literature review published by researchers at Michigan State University in the journal Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment.  The review encompasses 48 studies published over the last 150 years on the effect of human interventions to enhance natural ecosystem services. Results point not only to new methods to improve on-farm pest management, but also potential ways to engage farmers and citizen scientists in implementing these win-win strategies.

Researchers looked at a number of methods tested in the scientific literature that would increase on-farm populations of vertebrate pest predators. Broadly, discrete approaches such as installing structures like nest boxes, perches, and artificial roosts were investigated alongside more wide-ranging systems aimed at altering habitat and increasing landscape complexity. The latter includes methods such as installing field borders, increasing tree cover, reintroducing native species, and eliminating invasives.

The more discrete approaches provided a simpler, more accessible, and less expensive method of pest management when compared to approaches that require more wide-ranging landscape changes, though the benefits of those activities were not negligible. Nest boxes were found to successfully increase the abundance of predator species. Populations of western bluebirds increased by a factor of 10 when nest boxes were installed as part of a study on California vineyards, and vineyards without the nest boxes saw significantly higher pest levels when compared to those with bluebird boxes. In Europe, apple orchards that installed nest boxes for the native great tit bird saw 50% less pest damage than orchards that did not install the structures. Likewise, the installation of artificial bat roosts around Spanish rice fields led to significant declines in major moth pests over a 10 year period. When perches were installed around Australian soybean fields, raptors and other predatory birds caused a statistically significant decline in mouse populations.

The creation of field borders – strips of non-crop flowers and plants – did represent a successful method of improving populations of vertebrate pest predators. Studies reviewed found that bird abundance around these strips grew as the distance between cropland and forested areas increased, indicating potentially significant benefits of this practice for otherwise monotypic row crop farms.

In considering research on the addition of tree cover, studies have found mixed results. While some work indicates higher populations of various birds on farms of shade-grown coffee, other show species richness to be greater in sun-grown fields. That being said, studies generally indicate that increasing tree cover is likely to improve vertebrate pest control services.

Reintroducing native species can be a multifaceted, costly undertaking, and as a result of misperceptions about large carnivores, is more successful when the species is smaller, well-known, and non-threatening for people and farmers. A case study following the introduction of the New Zealand falcon into region known for its grape production found that the predators reduced fruit loss from pest bird species.

Both structural and landscape-level strategies can interact with one another. In one example, nest boxes installed to promote kestrel populations in Michigan were displaced by the widespread and invasive European starling. Although the solution to this problem is as simple as removing the nests, it indicates broader efforts may be necessary to maintain discrete approaches.

In sum, these methods provide a myriad of benefits. The economic value of vertebrate predators in reducing pests is significant. Bats alone contribute millions of dollars in pest-controlling ecosystem services – one study reviewed found that the loss of bats in Indonesian cacao fields would decrease yields by over 700 lb per hectare, a loss of $730 per year per hectare. The falcons reintroduced to New Zealand grape fields saved farmers there between $234 and $326 as a result of decreased pest bird consumption of fruit. In addition to monetary benefits, structures like nest boxes help conserve species by enhancing local populations, as occurred with the reintroduction of kestrels in Michigan.

Critically, these strategies help replace the over $15.2 billion American farmers spent purchasing pesticides in 2016. However, as researchers indicate, the true cost of pesticide use, through the poisoning of humans and animals, the displacement of pest predators, and contamination of our environment may increase that number by over $10 billion.

This review provides sound evidence in favor of farmers implementing simple, environmentally sustainable pest management methods. Researchers note the need to further investigate ways to engage farmers and citizens to participate in these activities, potentially through social networks, games such as the Ebird mobile app, and other tools. “Now that we’ve bundled these studies, we really need to set a research agenda to quantify best practices and make the results accessible to key stakeholders, such as farmers and environmentalists,” said lead author of the study Catherine Lindell, PhD to the National Science Foundation.

For more information on the benefits of not only vertebrate predators, but a wide range of wildlife species in reducing pesticide use, see Beyond Pesticides’ Wildlife Program page.

All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.

Source: National Science Foundation, Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment

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Dear Colleague 

We are now less than 6 months from the start of the XV International Congress of Acarology 2018 (XV ICA 2018) at Swandor Hotels & Resorts Topkapi Palace in Antalya, Turkey from 2-8 September.

Please note that the deadline for the submission of abstracts and bids for staging XVI ICA 2022 is Friday, 16 March, only 2 days from today. To submit, go to the congress website at here and follow the prompts. The details of four symposiums and their organisers are also listed on the website.

The congress website also has all the up-to date congress details, including registration and accommodation. You are encouraged to make your arrangements to take advantage of ‘early bird’ prices.

Please also forward this email to colleagues who may be interested in attending.

Best wishes and see you in September in Antalya!

On behalf of the Organizing Committee

Sebahat K. Ozman-Sullivan
President
XV ICA 2018

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SE farm press

 

Auburn University
An Auburn University researcher surveys a soybean field. Auburn entomologists have discovered and identified a tiny wasp, Ooencyrtus nezarae, which kills the crop-destroying bugs.

Researchers discover another natural enemy of the kudzu bug

Though only about the size of a pinhead, the newly detected parasitoid wasp can do plenty of damage to the kudzu bug.

Paul L. Hollis | Mar 14, 2018

Auburn University entomologists have discovered and identified a tiny wasp that could provide a huge benefit to soybean producers and other farmers.

Though only about the size of a pinhead, the newly detected parasitoid wasp, Ooencyrtus nezarae, can do plenty of damage to the kudzu bug, a quarter-inch-long invasive pest of soybeans and other legume crops in the Southeast. Researchers in the lab of entomologist Henry Fadamiro, associate dean for research for the College of Agriculture and associate director of the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, were the first to detect the wasp’s presence in North America.

 The research team published its findings in a recent article in the Journal of Insect Science. Blessing Ademokoya, an Auburn graduate researcher at the time of the study and now a doctoral student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is lead author of the article. Fadamiro and Rammohan Balusu, research fellow in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, are co-authors,

as are Auburn research entomologist Charles Ray and Jason Mottern, entomologist at the USDA Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Ray and Mottern assisted in final identification of the wasp. O. nezarae is the second kudzu bug-attacking wasp to be identified in the U.S. The first, Paratelenomus saccharalis, was discovered in Georgia in 2013.”It is exciting to know that many natural enemies are in the field helping to keep kudzu bug populations under control,” Ademokoya said. “And, with this latest addition, we have a potential explanation for the decline observed in kudzu bug densities across several locations in the southeastern U.S.”

The kudzu bug, native to Asia, was first reported in the U.S. in 2009 in Georgia. Although it feeds on kudzu—an economically important invasive weed native to Asia and familiar to Southerners—it also devours soybeans and other legume crops, causing significant yield loss in highly infested fields.

A strong flyer and good hitchhiker, the pest rapidly expanded its numbers across many southern states, including Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi, Virginia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Arizona, Maryland and Delaware. The population peaked in 2013.

The kudzu bug has emerged as the top yield-limiting pest of soybeans, which rank as the second most planted field crop in the United States with an estimated annual market value of approximately $39 billion.

In 2017, Alabama farmers harvested approximately 345,000 acres of soybeans with a production value of more than $150 million.

Potential long-term solution

O. nezarae, which was found during field surveys in Alabama, is reported to parasitize eggs from a variety of plant bug families in China.

“Until now, the distribution of O. nezarae has been limited to China, Japan, Thailand, South Korea and Brazil,” Fadamiro said. “This is the first report of the parasitoid in North America. The high rate of parasitism—82.8 to 100 percent—recorded in our study indicates that the parasitoid may serve as a potential long-term solution for managing kudzu bug.”

Despite O. nezarae’s high parasitism rate of kudzu bug, it has a short period of activity, and Fadamiro said continued research will be necessary to identify tactics for the use of the insect to biologically control the pest on farms.

“We need to conduct monitoring to know the distribution of the parasitoid in the United States and to determine its seasonal phenology in the field—when it is not active and when it is most active,” he said. “We also are interested in studying the nutritional ecology of this insect and strategies for its conservation in the field. We don’t want to spray toxic chemicals when it is most active.”

There are numerous ways to use natural enemies in production agriculture, Fadamiro said, including introducing them into areas where they are not already present and preserving them where they are naturally occurring. Farmers also can plant host flowering plants around a field so the nectar will attract and keep the beneficial insect in an area.

“If we conduct a survey and find the insects are only in central Alabama, then we can capture and relocate them to other areas of the state where the kudzu bug is a threat,” he said. “We want to make sure this finding is useful to the farmers who need it most.”

But there’s a risk in assuming that the known natural enemies of the kudzu bug will eliminate the threat, Fadamiro said.

“While the incidence of the kudzu bug has declined in recent years, there could be many factors involved, including weather conditions and other natural enemies, so we need to continue this work,” he said.

The research leading to the discovery of the parasitoid was supported by an Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and by the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station. It’s an example of Auburn’s commitment to development science-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs.

Auburn University

Auburn University entomologists have discovered and identified a tiny wasp that could provide a huge benefit to soybean producers and other farmers. Though only about the size of a pinhead, the newly detected parasitoid wasp, Ooencyrtus nezarae, can do plenty of damage to the kudzu bug, a quarter-inch-long invasive pest of soybeans and other legume crops in the Southeast.

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From PestNetfresh fruit logoffp

FreshFruitPortal

https://www.freshfruitportal.com/news/2018/03/13/chile-medfly-outbreak-valparaiso-region/

Chile: Medfly outbreak in Valparaiso region

March 13 , 2018

An outbreak of Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly) has been discovered in Chile’s Valparaiso region, in a rural area of a commune that lies to the north of the capital Santiago.

Eight insects were found in traps in the commune of Los Andes, and authorities have now established a 7.2-kilometer control area. Additional traps have also been placed and contingency plans have been implemented.

There have been numerous Medfly detections in recent months, with authorities finding an insect in the eastern Santiago suburbof Las Condes in December, and the following month finding 16 Medflies in San Bernardo to the capital’s southwest.

The Agricultural and Livestock Service (SAG) said the recent detections had been made thanks to the surveillance network present throughout Chile.

“There was an opportune detection, thanks to the trapping system that the institution has throughout the country and thanks to our personnel who acted quickly,” SAG national director Angel Sartori said.

“To control and eradicate this outbreak we ask for collaboration from the people in facilitating the entry of inspectors into their homes to carry out the necessary treatments for these cases.

“In addition, we reiterate that people who travel outside of the country must not enter Chile with products that are not authorized by SAG, as they can put our agriculture at risk.”

The Medfly is one of the most damaging agricultural pests in the world, attacking more than 250 species of fruit and vegetables.

www.freshfruitportal.com

 

 

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The Plantwise Blog

 

New coalition puts knowledge and skills into the hands of those who need it

ipm-blogbanner-rice

CABI has joined forces with the ISEAL Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Coalition in the fight to implement better, less chemical-dependent, ways for farmers to manage agricultural pests and diseases that account for around 40% of lost crops worldwide. By linking with the Plantwise Knowledge Bank, the coalition aims to share knowledge on sustainable pest management strategies, strengthen knowledge exchanges on alternative methods for pest management, as well as identifying and focusing on specific pest-disease.

Cambria Finegold, Global Director, Knowledge Management, at CABI, said, “One of the ways in which CABI works to help the 500 million smallholder farmers around the world grow more and lose less is to present them with the latest knowledge and advise on how to tackle devastating pest and diseases. “Our partnership with the ISEAL IPM Coalition is a major step forward in disseminating the very best in information and expertise into the hands of those who need it to grow healthy and sustainable crops but also protect their livelihoods.”

Other areas of cooperation as part of the new agreement includes exploring the possibilities to train Plantwise plant doctors  on sustainability standards and promote the exchange of knowledge and experiences on integrated pest management. The partnership will also explore the possibilities to implement pest-specific integrated pest management events and workshops as well as sharing examples of good practice and alternatives to pesticides.

For the IPM coalition, the technical and field experience of nine standard systems covering many countries and diverse production systems combined with Plantwise’s rich information about alternative pest control methods provide a great opportunity for technicians of farms, fields and forests to responsibly offer the best available information for least toxic chemical or non-chemical pest control methods. The dissemination of this upgraded information package to thousands of stakeholders of the IPM coalition members will not only lead to transparent information about sustainable pest management, but most importantly contribute to a more informed selection of pest control alternatives with the least environmental and human impacts.

The IPM Integrated Pest Management Coalition is composed by ISEAL Alliance members: Better Cotton InitiativeBonsucroFairtrade InternationalForest Stewardship CouncilGlobal Coffee PlatformRoundtable on Sustainable BiomaterialsGolf Environment OrganizationSustainable Agriculture Network and Rainforest Alliance. The overall long term goal of the coalition is to reduce or eliminate the use of Highly Hazardous Pesticides and to achieve a significant reduction of pesticide risks to health and the environment with effective standard and certification system’s tools.

For more information on the coalition, visit http://www.ipm-coalition.org

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