Our main objective is to develop a low-input integrated pest management programme for the key pest of maize in Latin America, Spodoptera frugiperda, based primarily on use of a baculovirus insecticide backed up with biological and cultural control measures. Hence we will reduce the current dependence on synthetic pesticides which at present represent an acute toxicological hazard, with regular poisoning incidents among growers and consumers.
We anticipate that by the end of the project we will have assessed the potential for integrated pest management in this system. Provided that we can achieve adequate control without substantial use of synthetic pesticides, we expect to be in a position to make recommendations to growers as to how to manage maize pests in a sustainable and profitable manner while reducing or eliminating toxicological and environmental problems associated with use of synthetic insecticides. Further funding for training and extension work will be sought.
1. To characterise and assess pathogenecity of strains of baculovirus pathogenic to S. frugiperda.
2. To quantify S. frugiperda larval behaviour and feeding rates at varying ages and on varying growth stages of maize to enable optimization of control measures.
3. To assess the efficacy of baculoviral insecticides in various formulations and at various application times and rates using replicated field trials.
4. To assess the control potential of egg and larval parasitoids (either via in-field management or mass release), and the potential for integration of parasitoid and baculoviral controls.
5. To screen the available pesticides for toxicity to man and beneficial insects, and to examine possibilities for integration of biological controls with a reduced chemical input.
6. To integrate all of the above into a practical control programme.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
FM2121 El Zamorano