Minnesota is poised to lead an environmental breakthrough

Minnesota StarTribune

Pending bills would give communities local control over pesticides, safeguard protected wildlife areas and more. By Karin Winegar APRIL 6, 2021 — 5:29PM

NICOLE NERI • NICOLE.NERI@STARTRIBUNE.COMBees are one of the many pollinators harmed by pesticides.TEXT SIZEEMAILPRINTMORE

When I was a child in a southern Minnesota farm town, summers were filled with bird music, bee hum, firefly light and frog song. Then the city sprayed with what I presume was DDT. A great silence followed that fogger.

In 1962, marine biologist Rachel Carson’s bestseller “Silent Spring,” an indictment of DDT, appeared and led to a ban on the pesticide by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1972.

As an adult, I watched a growing range of chemicals being linked to rises in cancer, nerve damage, obesity, endocrine disruption, death and deformities (frogs, alligators) and die-offs (birds, pollinators, fish) in the natural world. As a journalist, I sometimes wrote about the effects of man-made chemicals and, in particular, the consequences of pesticide and herbicide use.

Now Minnesota stands on the cusp of passing some of the most enlightened legislation in the nation to protect human and ecosystem health. With a handful of bills slated to be heard in the Legislature, we may have reached a critical mass of scientific documentation, legislative smarts and public understanding that could result in a state that is cleaner, safer and healthier for people, pets and vital pollinators.

The pending bills give communities local control over pesticides (HF 718), set rules for pesticide-coated corn and soy seed to avoid contamination (HF 766), prohibit neonicotinoid systemic pesticides (aka “neonics”) and chlorpyrifos (insecticide) in protected wildlife areas (HF 1210), impose a statewide ban on chlorpyrifos (HF 670) and increase pollinator-lethal insecticide fees with revenue allocated to pollinator research (HF 408).

Decades of study by institutions including Cornell University, Harvard University’s School of Public Health, Rutgers University and consumer protection groups show correlations between pesticides and the current insect apocalypse, rises in cancer and pet illness and deaths, and damage to child development.

DDT may have gone, but neonics are far more powerful. Results of a study by the University Koblenz and Landau in Germany, published in Science magazine on April 1, finds “that the toxicity of applied insecticides to aquatic invertebrates and pollinators has increased considerably.”

“These are extremely challenging and complex issues, and Minnesota is offering a number of innovative ways to respond to much-needed protections,” says Aimée Code, pesticide program director of the nonprofit Xerces Society based in Portland, Ore. “Across the country people are seeking answers, and states are looking at what is happening in Minnesota. Minnesota has been creative in seeking solutions through such actions as the Lawns to Legumes program and efforts to label pesticides, to ratchet down pesticide use, to create more bio-sensitive and sustainable agriculture and to give farmers incentives to not use treated seed.

“Currently, [people] think pest control and pesticide are synonymous, and that pesticides should be a first line of defense, ” Code explained. “The vast majority of our invertebrates are foundational species that offer ecological services — everything from pest management, to help filtering our water, to pollination. Chemical pesticides have become ingrained in our agriculture and homeowner practices. We have to think of smarter solutions.”

As farmers, consumers and legislative bodies continue to get smarter about solutions, neonics were banned for outdoor use in the European Union in 2018. Legislation pending in New York, California, Alaska and Massachusetts would do likewise.

Mac Ehrhardt is co-owner of the Albert Lea Seed House, a third generation family firm that put certified organic seed on its menu in 1998. The latter is a small but increasing percentage of Seed House business, he says. And while a majority of farmers purchase seed there based on costs, others recognize the concerns around chemicals.

What is also new on the issue, Ehrhardt says, is “we are getting legislators brave enough to stand up and do what is right even though they know a percentage of constituents will be angry with them.”

The Minnesota bills reflect an understanding that what affects insects, plants and animals affects humans as well.

“The evidence is very clear that neonics can be found throughout the environment now in places they are not expected to be,” says Jonathan Lundgren, an agroecologist, director of ECDYSIS Foundation, CEO of Blue Dasher Farm in Estilline, S.D., and former U.S. Department of Agriculture award-winning entomologist. Lundgren’s recent study of white tail deer spleens demonstrates that the world’s most widely used pesticide class today has negative effects on mammals.

“This has implications for our ecosystem that farmers and legislators alike can appreciate. The response from the ag chem industry is to say their products are safe and helping farmers, but the data really doesn’t support that. Neonics and other chemicals simply aren’t necessary. Farmers are developing systems that make the pesticide question kind of moot. Regenerative farming is proving to be more resilient and more profitable. The scientists got it, and farmers are getting it.”

Karin Winegar, of St. Paul, is a freelance journalist and former Star Tribune staff writer.

Agriculture Secretary Advises To Keep Friendly Pests Alive


Mohammad Ali (@ChaudhryMAli88)  2 days ago  Tue 06th April 2021 | 06:21 PM

Agriculture Secretary advises Bio-pesticides spray on cotton to keep friendly pests alive

Secretary agriculture South Punjab Saqib Ali Ateel advised farmers on Tuesday to delay first spray on cotton crop to the maximum and apply biological pesticides spray to keep crop friendly pests alive, cut cost and get good cotton production

MULTAN, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 6th Apr, 2021 ) :Secretary agriculture South Punjab Saqib Ali Ateel advised farmers on Tuesday to delay first spray on cotton crop to the maximum and apply biological pesticides spray to keep crop friendly pests alive, cut cost and get good cotton production.

During a visit to government seed farm at Rahim Yar Khan, he said that government was advocating farmers to prefer biological control techniques over application of chemical pesticides adding that farmers should delay the first spray on the crop to the maximum possible and when they do they must chose bio-pesticides for spray. It would keep crop friendly pests alive, cut cost and would give good production. Farmers should resort to chemical pesticides spray only as a last option when pest incidence crosses the Economic Threshold Level (ETL).

He said that the farm officials should collect complete data of trials at the farm regarding zero tillage technology and wheat sowing on ridges so that it could benefit farmers in the next season.

He was informed that plant extracts were applied on wheat trial fields that increased the number of crop friendly pests while incidence of enemy pests was near to nothing.

Witnessing trial fields of Apple, avocado, peach, olive and dates at the farm, the secretary agriculture said that in addition to mulching, fruit bearing plants should also have some arrangement to be safe from sunlight and water be applied in time.

He said “Unregistered varieties are mostly susceptible to pest attack and must be avoided and only registered seed varieties be sown.”He said that government was providing Rs 1000 subsidy per bag of registered seed varieties while subsidy was also being given on Phosphorous and Potash fertilizers to cut farmers’ cost on cultivation. He said, a Rs 4.4 billion subsidy would be provided to counter white fly while BP Ropes would be provided at 60 per cent subsidized price to counter pink bollworm attack on cotton. He advised field formations to ensure enforcement of SOPs in agriculture areas and give guidelines to farmers.

The Weather Network

Invasive species’ staggering damage: $1.3 trillion since 1970

Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter

Monday, April 5th 2021, 3:15 pm – The estimated cost of invasive species continues to increase, tripling every decade.


Conservationists have always said invasive species can have a devastating impact, but now we have a clearer idea of the dollar-figure cost: A little under US$1.3 trillion (C$1.62 trillion) in the nearly four decades between 1970 and 2017.

That’s according to a new study led by scientists in France, which calculated a “minimum” of $1.288 trillion of damage over that time period – about the size of the economy of Egypt or Australia at purchasing power parity (PPP).

On an annualized basis, that comes to US$26.8 billion (C$33.57 billion), similar to New Brunswick’s annual GDP. But that 37-year annual average figure obscures a worrying trend: The yearly cost of invasive species has been steadily growing, reaching US$162.7 billion (C$204 billion) in 2017, the last year of data the researchers included in the study.

“These costs remain strongly underestimated and do not show any sign of slowing down, exhibiting a consistent threefold increase per decade,” the researchers say. “We show that the documented costs are widely distributed and have strong gaps at regional and taxonomic scales, with damage costs being an order of magnitude higher than management expenditures.”

Aedes mosquito Wikimedia Commons Muhammad Mahdi Karim 

A mosquito of the aedes genus, which includes several varieties that are invasive species in some countries. Image credit: Muhammad Mahdi Karim/Wikimedia Commons.

Invasive species are species that move into environments where they were previously unknown, and where they may have no natural predators. In most cases, they are introduced by humans, whether knowingly or not, but can also expand their habitat due to climate change. Their spread can impact biodiversity and environmental health, but also have major economic impacts as well.

In Canada, for example, the forests in some provinces have been threatened by the invasive Asian long-horned beetle or emerald ash borer, while food chains in the Great Lakes have been under pressure from zebra and quagga mussels.

They can also impact public health, as some of the most invasive species are mosquitos, which can carry diseases into new areas.

The researchers based their analysis on 850 studies covering more than 2,400 cost estimates, and stress that their economic damage calculations are conservative.

“Research approaches that document the costs of biological invasions need to be further improved,” they warn. “Nonetheless, our findings call for the implementation of consistent management actions and international policy agreements that aim to reduce the burden of invasive alien species.”

The study was published in the journal *Nature* last month.



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Government gives green light to fall armyworm biopesticide

James McManagan1 Apr 2021, 5 p.m.Grains

Biopesticide given emergency approval to assist fall armyworm battle.

 Biopesticide given emergency approval to assist fall armyworm battle.

The Queensland government has given the green light to the emergency use approval of the biopesticide Fawligen in a bid combat the destructive pest fall armyworm.

Since arriving in Australia last year the highly mobile pest has spread throughout Queensland, the Northern Territory, Western Australia and south to northern New South Wales, destroying corn and sorghum fields in its wake.

Fawligen is a naturally occurring caterpillar virus that kills the pest from the inside out and spreads to the larvae.

Agriculture Minister Mark Furner said the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority had issued an Emergency Use Permit which allows Fawligen to be used.

“The swift approval of the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries’ application, prepared jointly with AgBiTech – the Australian company that developed and produces Fawligen – is a significant step in the battle against this voracious pest,” Mr Furner said.

“Fawligen is a welcome addition to the options available for controlling FAW, particularly in crops, such as sweet corn, maize and sorghum, where currently available options are limited or ineffective.

“Further research and work by industry under the EUP will provide valuable data to help AgBiTech achieve its aim of gaining full Australian registration for Fawligen.”

AgBiTech’s general manager for Australia, Philip Armytage, said Fawligen is best used as part of an integrated pest management system.

“Fawligen will work as an important management tool when used in strategic combinations with natural enemies and conventional chemistry options,” Mr Armytage said.

“Our information from overseas indicates that Fawligen it is not a strong, stand-alone solution for FAW control and as a result, Fawligen supply will be restricted to growers and consultants who have undertaken accredited training to ensure they are fully aware of the product’s abilities and limitations.

“AgBiTech will be providing a training program for farmers, agronomists and researchers who are considering using Fawligen.”

Damage from invasive species ‘trebling every decade’

Mosquitoes, rats and termites among species that have hitched ride on trade routes, causing at least $1.3tn of damage

Fall armyworm
The fall armyworm arrived in Africa in 2016 and has now invaded dozens of countries. Photograph: Grant Heilman Photography/Alamy

Damian Carrington Environment editor@dpcarringtonWed 31 Mar 2021 11.00 EDT

The costs of damage caused by invasions of alien species across the world is trebling every decade, research has found.

Mosquitoes, rats, ragweeds and termites are among the species that have hitched a ride on globalised trade routes, bringing disease, crop destruction and damage to buildings. The scientists calculated the costs at $1.3tn (£944bn) since 1970, and said even this “staggering sum” was likely to be a big underestimate as much damage is unreported.

The rapidly growing costs show no sign of slowing down, the researchers said, and are more than 10 times higher than the funding for preventing or dealing with these biological invasions. They said global action to combat invasive species remained limited, mostly because the “profound” impacts are poorly understood by the public and politicians.

Mosquitoes from the Aedes genus, such as the tiger mosquito, spread Zika, dengue, yellow fever and other viruses, and were responsible for the biggest recorded costs. Invasive rodents such as the black rat, grey squirrel, coypu and house mouse also cause severe damage to human health, crops and food stores and to native wildlife.

Formosan termites, voracious consumers of wood, are a particular problem in the US, while the red fire ant has spread from its South American home to Australia, New Zealand, several Asian and Caribbean countries and the US. The fall armyworm, which can destroy many crops, arrived in Africa in 2016 and has now invaded dozens of countries.

“The economic costs of invasive alien species since 1970 are tremendous, steadily increasing, but still massively underestimated,” said Christophe Diagne, at the Université Paris-Saclay, France, and who led the research. He said the rising damage mirrored the growth of international trade and the expanding area of farmland and settlements that the invaders can damage.Advertisement

Prof Corey Bradshaw, of Flinders University in Australia, who was part of the study team, said: “The quicker you detect invasive species and the quicker you act, the cheaper it is in the long run. So really good detection at ports and airports and then rapid responses are going to cost you orders of magnitude less money than the damage.”

He said consumers ended up paying for the damage via increased prices for food and other products, and higher healthcare costs.

The research, published in the journal Nature, analysed more than 1,300 estimates of damage by invasive animals and plants. Costs were highest in the US, India, China and Brazil, but this probably reflects where the problems have been most reported. There is little or no data in many other parts of the world.

Some earlier cost estimates indicated much higher damages – as much as $1.4tn a year – but Bradshaw said these were largely based on poor or speculative assessments. “Some were not even ‘back of the envelope’ – there was no envelope,” he said.

The new analysis was deliberately conservative, using only estimates based on observed data. “But there are so many unquantifiables from a monetary perspective, like ecosystem damage and lost productivity, so it’s still the tip of the iceberg,” said Bradshaw. The true costs could be 10 times higher, he said.

Biological invasions are known to be increasing and so the rising cost estimates are unlikely to be solely the result of increased reporting of damage. Either way, the scientists said, “they robustly show staggering amounts” and “a huge economic burden”.

Prof Helen Roy, of the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, who was not part of the research team, said: “The most important aspect of this research is showing the rising costs, regardless of the exact figure. Overall it is a very useful paper and has some excellent recommendations. It also gives some cause for optimism – there are ways to prevent arrival or manage invasive alien species that become established.”

Bradshaw said cinnamon fungus, which rots the roots of plants including grape vines, was one of Australia’s most damaging invasive species. “I have a little farm and it’s killed all of my chestnuts. So we’re slowly replacing those with trees that are resistant”.

Plantwise Blog

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April 7, 2021

James Cullum

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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (07 April 2021)

This month’s pest alerts include the first record of Viburnum leaf beetle Pyrrhalta viburni in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Image by

We’ve selected a few of the latest new geographic, host and species records for plant pests and diseases from CAB Abstracts. Records this month include the first report of Apiognomonia errabunda on Quercus ilex in Algeria and the first record of Viburnum leaf beetle Pyrrhalta viburni in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

To view all search results for new geographic, host and species records for plant pests and diseases, click here or to view results by your location click here.

If there’s another new record you’d like to highlight, please post a comment.

View past pest alerts


Bees can remember human faces — and 7 other surprising facts about these important insects

Mar 12, 2021 / Meghan Miner Murray

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Most people know bees for two things: their sweetness (in the form of honey) or their stings. But they’re so much more than that. Honeybees, for example, live in highly structured social groups where each bee has a role to play. Some bees are solitary and can chew holes in wood. Others can be blue or white or green. In fact, there are more than 20,000 species of bees worldwide.

Importantly for humans, bees are crucial to our planetary health and survival — as pollinators, they are responsible for about a third of the food we eat. Yet bee populations worldwide are declining, largely due to climate change. Carbon emissions are resulting in temperature extremes that are causing habitat loss, a rise in parasitic mites and predators that thrive in warmer temperatures, and increased pesticide use to deal with these new pests. All of these factors impact bees in both big ways (colony collapse disorder) and small (shifting winds make bees less efficient). 

Here are 8 surprising facts you didn’t know about these amazing insects, and how you can help protect them.

Bees put the honey in honeymoon 

There may be more than 20,000 bee species, but only members of the genus Apis (11 known species) make honey. We may owe bees — and ancient Norse drinking habits — for the term “honeymoon.” The syrupy sweetener was an ingredient in the earliest known alcoholic beverages, including mead, a fermented honey drink. Mead played an important role in Nordic marriage rites as early as the 5th century. It’s believed that it was a tradition for newlywed couples to consume copious amounts of mead during the first full moon cycle, or month, of marriage. The practice is one of several proposed origins of the honeymoon’s etymology. 

Some bee species defend their hives with giant balls of heat

Like all insects, bees are cold-blooded, which means their body temperature is typically similar to their surrounding environment. But within the hive, where the developing brood lives, bees maintain a steady temperature of around 92-93 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. Using their wings, bees can fan hot air out of the hive to cool an area or vibrate their flight muscles to heat it. 

As a changing climate brings new predators their way, some bee species have taken their thermoregulation abilities to the next level. Scientists have observed Japanese honeybees pounce on the hive-invading, bee-eating Asian giant hornets (also known as murder hornets) that cross their threshold. Together they create a giant ball around the hornet and use the same hive-heating techniques to cook the invader alive

Bees help farmers grow better food and keep food prices down 

Bees are highly efficient pollinators and are essential to plant diversity. When bees are employed to pollinate crops such as avocados, blueberries and cucumbers, fruit yields and weight increase dramatically compared to crops grown in the absence of bees or other pollinators. But climate change could threaten our food systems. 

As weather patterns continue to shift, many animal species will move to more ideal climate conditions when their previous habitats become less favorable. But experts fear that bees aren’t adapting to shifting temperatures like some other species, which could lead to rapid population decline. In some areas, flowers are also starting to bloom earlier with warming temperatures, and it’s unclear how bees will adapt to these seasonal changes. This could spell big trouble for both wild and farmed crops. “With the declining numbers of bees, the cost of over 130 fruit and vegetable plants that we rely on for food is going up in price,” says Noah Wilson-Rich, biologist and CEO of Best Bees, in his TEDxBoston Talk. 

There are bees that can age backwards — really 

Some honeybees have the remarkable ability to age in reverse. When there’s a lack of young worker bees, older bees can revert to their more energetic, younger selves to take on the task. In fact, these bees end up living longer to pick up the slack. This incredible phenomenon is currently under investigation by researchers to better understand the underlying mechanisms and potential applications for age-related dementia in humans. 

Scientists use bees to study serial killers 

Criminologists developed a statistical technique called geographic profiling (GP) in order to study repeat-offense crimes, like serial killings and burglaries. Based on the locations of the crimes, police can make educated guesses about where a suspect might live or visit regularly. That’s because in general, repeat offenders avoid committing crimes close to where they live so they can avoid detection — but they remain close enough to home for convenience. It turns out bees’ feeding patterns are similar. 

Bees avoid detection by predators and parasites by creating a distraction zone — they leave flowers closest to their nest entrance untouched and feed further away from the hive. In 2008, a team of researchers observed bees visiting different flowers, and attempted to locate their hive based on existing GP techniques. They found that bees’ foraging patterns were as reliable and predictable as humans. Criminology experts can now use insights from bee patterns to refine geographic profiling methods.

Honeybees live according to a strict hierarchy 

There are three types of honeybees: queens, workers and drones. There’s only one queen, and she’s typically the largest and longest-living individual within a hive. Worker bees are all female and the only bees with stingers. When a bee stings, it dies, leaving behind a banana-like scent that warns the other worker bees of danger. And while workers are genetically identical to the queen, only the crown can lay eggs. In fact, queen bees can release over 1,000 eggs each day for years. These eggs are fertilized with sperm from dozens of male drones whose only function is to fertilize the queen during a once-in-a-lifetime mating flight (the drones die after mating.) 

Bees can remember human faces 

Bees may have brains the size of poppy seeds, but they’re able to pick out individual features on human faces and recognize them during repeat interactions. In one study, scientists paired images of human faces with sugar-laced water and found that bees recognized and remembered faces associated with the sweet reward — even when the reward was absent. This keen perception not only helps these highly social creatures recognize each other, but it also helps them recognize and return to flowers that produce more pollen.

It’s not too late to save bees — and YOU can help 

Fortunately, you can take action to help bees where you live. With just a smartphone and a willingness to learn, you can contribute to various citizen science projects. A citizen science effort in Michigan, for example, helped researchers discover that special ground-dwelling bees that pollinate squash and pumpkin fare better on farms where the soil is not trampled or tilled — this finding has real implications for our food systems. Other ongoing programs help researchers collect baseline data on wild bee populations, including North America-based BeeBlitzes, the University of Illinois’ BeeSpotter, Australia’s Wild Pollinator Count and Canada’s Bumble Bee Watch.   

Your own backyard is another place to start. Plant more wildflowers, don’t use pesticides that harm bees and apply them before flowering begins. If you live in the city, set up or join a community rooftop garden. Interestingly, bees can have higher survival rates and produce more honey in the city compared to the crop-dotted countryside, Wilson-Rich says. And, if you want to really get in on the buzz, consider keeping your own honeybee hive — you’ll bolster your local bee population and reap some sweet rewards.

Watch Noah Wilson-Rich’s TEDxBoston Talk: 

About the author

Meghan Miner Murray is a freelance science and travel writer based in Kona, Hawaii. She once was rescued from a sinking ship in the North Atlantic. Read more about her and her work at meghanminermurray.com.

New, Improved, and Expanded!
Field Guide to African Soybean Diseases, Pests & Nutrient Deficiencies

Available Now!
April 1, 2021
  It’s here! The new and improved Field Guide is available for free now. Click here to access.   You asked, we delivered. The Soybean Innovation Lab’s (SIL) network of growers, breeders, agronomists, researchers, seed companies, practitioners, and extension agents needed a practical solution for identifying and addressing soybean diseases, pests, and nutrient deficiencies in the field. In response, SIL developed a pictorial, easy-to-use guide that provides diagnostic tools, management solutions, and guidance for achieving a healthy soybean crop.   The new & improved guide includes more information on important soybean pests and diseases, and a section on identifying and managing nutrient deficiencies, commonly confused for soybean diseases in the field. The guide contains more than 110 images gathered from SIL’s disease scouting network and soybean experts.     The Field Guide to African Soybean Diseases, Pests & Nutrient Deficiencies includes 7 sections to identify and address 44 potential threats to yield.   The expanded Field Guide covers important soybean diseases, pests and nutrient deficiencies including, from left, clockwise: Soybean Rust, Frogeye Leaf Spot, Calcium deficiency, Grasshopper, Stink Bug, Caterpillar, Bean Leaf Folder.   As soybean production increases across Africa, disease and pest pressures become more threatening to growers. The soybean industry requires knowledge on how to identify and manage soybean diseases, prepare for outbreaks, and understand varietal resistance to prevent potentially devastating yield losses due to soybean diseases.

The SIL Field Guide to African Soybean Diseases, Pest, & Nutrient Deficiencies is the the first and most comprehensive pictorial guide available to soybean producers in Africa.
    Download pdf here   Access an online version here   Field Guide Authors   The Field Guide to African Soybean Diseases, Pests, & Nutrient Deficiencies Version 2.0 was written by (left to right):  George Awuni, PhD, Plant and Soil Sciences, Mississippi State University Glen Hartman, PhD, USDA-ARS and Crop Sciences, University of Illinois Nicole Lee, Crop Sciences, University of Illinois Harun Muthuri Murithi, PhD, Plant Pathologist, ARS-USDA Michelle Pawlowski, PhD, Crop Sciences, University of Illinois Daniel B. Reynolds, PhD, Plant and Soil Sciences, Mississippi State University   The first edition of the Field Guide is available in 4 languages: English, French, Portuguese, and Amharic and has been used extensively by SIL’s network of soybean practitioners acoss 24 African countries.     “For the past 4 years all Pyxus agriculture Field Technicians are using the Field Guide to African Soybean Diseases and Pests.

“Whenever they are scouting or scoring pests and diseases they refer to the booklet guidance. It has got easy and simple pics to follow and well explained version of each illustrations.
“This has made it easier to distinguish diseases that look alike. So, our scouting, scoring and data recoding on pests and diseases has been easy and the booklet has improved our technicians’ knowledge on soybeans and related aspects. We use it as a field tool all the time.”
“Version 2 of the book is most welcome!”

– Dennis Banda, Pyxus International, Malawi
(Photos: Dennis Banda and his Field Guide)  

Part of the CGIAR International Year of Plant Health Webinar Series



Improved signaling and monitoring of thrips with Pherothrip 2.0

The problems with various species of thrips have occupied the minds of many cultivations in recent years. Reason for HortiPro to invest in signaling and monitoring techniques using pheromones in the near future and to further develop the techniques.

Growers try to start a new crop as cleanly as possible and with the aid of various, preferably green solutions, they have already come a long way. For example, thrips can be controlled with insect parasitic fungi and nematodes. Strategies with different beneficial insects are also being drawn up. It is important here that the possible solutions are deployed at the right time.

But when is the right time? Good signaling and monitoring is of crucial importance here, according to the HortiPro specialists. With the help of sticky traps, growers and advisers can keep an eye on whether thrips are already present and how a thrips population that may be present is developing in the crop.

To further optimise signaling and monitoring, HortiPro has launched the PheroThrip 2.0 on the market. PheroThrip 2.0 is a non-selective thrips pheromone in an evaporative spike. This evaporation spike can be placed in a hole in a yellow or blue sticky plate (see photo) and will increase the number of thrips caught on these sticky plates considerably. Various trials and demos, which have been carried out in collaboration with distributors and growers, have shown that the number of thrips caught on a sticky trap fitted with a PheroThrip 2.0 evaporation spike can be up to 40% higher.

Including Japanese flower thrips
These tests and demos also showed that the PheroThrip 2.0 pheromone attracts multiple thrips species. For example, Californian, pepper, tobacco, zebra, Echino, as well as Japanese flower thrips (Setosus thrips) were caught. The latter is usually particularly difficult to catch on sticky traps.

With the help of PheroThrip 2.0, Japanese flower thrips, among other things, can therefore be detected earlier. The necessary measures can then be taken against this in good time. In addition, both male and female thrips were caught on the sticky traps. This significantly reduces the reproduction speed.

Extensive experience has now been gained in, among other things: paprika, cucumber, chrysanthemum, gerbera, rose, hydrangea and strawberry.

Keep the cap closed
It is very important not to touch the evaporation spikes with bare hands. So place the spike in the catching plate with a plastic or latex glove or tweezers, the HortiPro specialists advise. The cap on the evaporation spike should remain closed.

The duration of action of the PheroThrip 2.0 is 6 to 8 weeks. They are available per 10 pieces in a resealable packaging and can be stored in the freezer (-18⁰C) for up to 2 years.

 For more information:

Publication date: Wed 31 Mar 2021