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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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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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logo-feed-the-future 1Faw RISK aS REPT Cover
https://feedthefuture.gov/lp/partnering-combat-fall-armyworm-africa

Partnering to Combat Fall Armyworm in Africa

The Fall Armyworm is an invasive crop pest that is rapidly spreading across Africa, threatening maize harvests in particular, and food security more broadly.

The good news is, we largely know how to solve this issue. The Americas have successfully controlled the pest and have a lot of know-how and experiences to share. By working together, we can help Africa tackle this challenge and build resilience to manage future agricultural threats.

Governments, businesses, civil society, the research community, and foundations must work together to assist Africans in combatting Fall Armyworm. To effectively manage this food security threat, we need to help African countries and farmers respond rapidly and prevent major damage before it greatly affects the world’s food supply and exacerbates global poverty and hunger.

Learn more about this crop pest, why it’s a problem, and what we’re doing about it in this fact sheet.

Fall Armyworm Facts:

  • In Africa, the Fall Armyworm’s presence is confirmed in 28 countries and suspected in 9 additional countries (FAO, December 2017).
  • The Fall Armyworm feeds on over 80 different crops including maize, rice, sorghum and sugarcane (CABI, September 2017).
  • It could cause losses of 8.3 million to 20.6 million metric tons of maize in 12 African countries annually (CABI, September 2017), which could feed 40.8 million to 101 million people.

Be a Part of the Solution

Fall Armyworm Tech Prize: Feed the Future and its partners will be looking for digital solutions that help identify and provide actionable information on how to treat the Fall Armyworm in Africa, considering countries’ policies and laws, as well as cultural context. We have two ways for you to get involved in supporting solutions that empower smallholder farmers to effectively manage the threat of Fall Armyworm.

  • Have a relevant innovation that could help? Click here to learn more about submitting your solution. We encourage innovators from around the world to apply!
  • Interested in supporting this effort? We are also seeking partners interested in providing financial, technical and other in-kind support. Email fallarmyworm@usaid.gov to connect with us.

Fall Armyworm Guidance and Related Resources

Fall Armyworm in Africa: A Guide for Integrated Pest Management (First Edition)

In collaboration with international and national research and development partners, Feed the Future developed this Fall Armyworm Technical Guide to share the latest protocols related to integrated pest management to control this pest. We intend to revise and release subsequent editions of this Technical Manual as more evidence emerges on effective management of Fall Armyworm.

Fact Sheet: Combatting Fall Armyworm

Feed the Future strengthens the capacity of African communities, institutions and governments to manage the Fall Armyworm through a range of sustainable and effective integrated pest management strategies that protect people and the environment. Learn more in this fact sheet.

Press Release: USAID Administrator Green Announces Call to Action, New Private Sector Partnerships

In a keynote address at the annual World Food Prize in Des Moines, Iowa, United States Agency for International Development Administrator Mark Green announced a call to action to combat the Fall Armyworm. Check out this press release to learn more.

Map of Areas affected by Fall Armyworm

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, December 2017.

Plant Protection EBA Data in Action Technical Brief

This brief, authored by the Feed the Future Enabling Environment for Food Security project, offers timely considerations for mitigating and addressing Fall Armyworm in Africa in the near and long term.

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Faw RISK aS REPT Cover

The document, ‘Pest Risk Assessment of the Fall Armyworm in Egypt’ has just been released by the Feed the Future Integrated Pest Management Lab at VA Tech. The document provides information on the following subjects:

FAW identification

Biology

Damage

Mortality and dispersal

Spread and establishment

Risk to other countries

Economic impact

Development of a management plan for the FAW in Egypt

The document can be accessed on the IPM IL website at:

https://ipmil.oired.vt.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Egypt-FAW-Risk-Assessment-12-14-17.pdf

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from PestNet

The Conversation

A tiny beetle and its deadly fungus is threatening South Africa’s trees

February 28, 2018 2.21am AEDT
Author   Wilhelm de Beer Associate Professor, University of Pretoria
Sandton is Johannesburg’s economic hub – home to numerous companies’ headquarters and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. And now it has a new, unwelcome resident: a tiny beetle that could lay waste to several tree species found in the suburb and potentially the wider Johannesburg area. This is particularly concerning, as Johannesburg is considered one of the world’s largest urban forests, with more than 10 million trees.

The polyphagous shothole borer, or Euwallacea fornicatus, seems to be a newcomer to South Africa. It was discovered in the country for the first time in 2017 by Dr Trudy Paap, a postdoctoral fellow at a biotechnology institute at the University of Pretoria..

During a survey for diseases in the KwaZulu-Natal Botanical Gardens in Pietermaritzburg, Paap found a lane of infested plane trees. The identity of the beetle was subsequently confirmed and the tiny beetle – they are each about 2mm long – has been found at work in gardens and roadsides in Johannesburg, about 500 km from Pietermaritzburg.

The beetle isn’t alone. It carries several fungal species with it when it infests living trees. One of these, Fusarium euwallacea, seems to be a permanent associate of the beetle. This fungus can eventually kill a beetle-infested tree.

The beetle and the fungus have devastated trees in California in the US as well as in Israel. Insecticides aren’t effective because the beetles bore deep into the wood. The only known method of managing the spread is to cut down infested trees and burn them. But research is underway to find more effective methods.

A threat to native forests and fruit trees

In late January my colleagues and I at the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute were contacted by Niel Hill, an urban forestry consultant in Johannesburg. He was concerned about several dying trees in the Sandton area. Symptoms varied on different tree species from patches of white powdered wood (called frass), to blotches of oozing resin, on the bark surrounding the beetles’ entrance holes. On some trees he had also spotted small, elevated lesions on the bark resembling shotgun wounds.

Hill said that trees had already started dying with these symptoms in 2015, but the cause was unknown. Microscopic and DNA tests in the the institute’s laboratories confirmed that the polyphagous shothole borer and its fungus had arrived in Sandton.

The tree species affected in the Sandton area include non-native ornamental trees such as Japanese and Chinese maple, London plane, kapok, and liquid amber. Several paper bark trees, native to South Africa, were also heavily infested and dying.

The polyphagous shothole borer doesn’t appear to have done much damage to trees in Southeast Asia, its place of origin. That’s probably because tree species evolved with the beetle and the fungus and have developed resistance towards them. It might also be because there are natural enemies controlling populations of the beetle in its native habitat.

But it’s a different story in California in the US and in Israel. The beetle and its fungus were introduced in these countries during the past 15 years and have caused serious damage, especially on avocado trees.

Paap’s work has confirmed that the South African beetle and fungus are the same genotypes as those found in Israel and California..

An extremely wide range of host tree species

Astonishingly, surveys in two botanical gardens in Los Angeles have shown that the beetle-fungus complex can infest more than 200 tree species from 58 plant families. This is quite unusual; forest pests usually affect trees of the same genus or family.

The lists of infested trees from California include important crop trees like avocado, macadamia, pecan, peach, orange and grapevine.. Some of the susceptible trees are South African species that have been planted in the Los Angeles botanical gardens . These included the cabbage tree, common calpurnia, monkey plum, dwarf and common coral trees, and the honey flower, also sometimes called kruidjie-roer-my-nie.

The fact that native South African tree species are susceptible is particularly worrying. Although the California study provided some clues about the range of tree species susceptible, scientists simply don’t know and cannot predict what the beetle and fungus will do in South Africa – on crops like avocado or on native trees.

This has prompted the institute to start several research projects that range from developing fast DNA-based diagnostic tools for the fungus and beetle, to possible control measures.

During the past week scientists and government officials, representing the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo met with our team to discuss next steps. A working group has been set up to co-ordinate monitoring the spread of the beetle and managing research efforts. It will also advise government agencies, municipalities, industry and private tree growers.

Next steps

The public can help, too. We’ve made an appeal to gardeners to watch out for the beetles. Details including photographs of the symptoms, GPS coordinates or a street address, the host tree species and the reporter’s contact details can be sent to diagnostic.clinic@fabi.up.ac.za.

We’re also appealing to people not to spread the problem by moving plant material with signs of beetle infestation. Instead, infested branches should be cut into small pieces and put into refuse bags, sealed and kept in direct sunlight. The heat from the sun will kill the insect and its larvae. Alternatively, wood should be burnt on site.

 

 

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