Title : Applying Integrated Pest Management strategy as an alternative method for Tuta Absoluta control in Zira settlement, Azerbaijan.
Integrated pest management means careful consideration of all available plant protection methods and subsequent integration of appropriate measures that discourage the development of populations of harmful organisms and keep the use of plant protection products and other forms of intervention to levels that are economically and ecologically justified and reduce or minimize risks to human health and the environment. 'Integrated pest management' emphasises the growth of a healthy crop with the least possible disruption to agro-ecosystems and encourages natural pest control mechanisms.
In the 1950’s entomologists discovered that insects were developing resistance to pesticides because of their overuse and abuse. “Integrated control” was developed emphasizing use of selective insecticides so that natural enemies were conserved in the system. This integration of control techniques was expanded in later years to include other management options such as resistant crop varieties, crop rotation and other tactics and to include weed and diseases as pests in addition to insects.
As crop protection agronomist 4 year I have been using chemical control against various pests and diseases. The most problematic pest in our region is tuta absoluta because this post is quarantine pest for Russia, which is considered the main market for Azerbaijan and another countries. Bemisia tabaci is also economically important pest, but it is more controllable than tuta absoluta. Why it is more difficult to control tuta absoluta than other pests? Because it can easily get resistance to pesticides, also immature stage (I mean larva) is inside the leaves stems and fruits where contact insecticide cannot reach in). All this facts forced us switch to IPM strategy. Why we did not apply this method on previous seasons? Because nobody before had any experience with IPM on tomato in Azerbaijan. Some growers began but could not continue because of high infestation of tuta and bemisia. Zira settlement is an area where tuta absoluta and bemisia tabaci population is high. Less IPM knowledge and practice led to increasing pests’ population (especially bemisia population increased and spread TYLCV) and as a result switching to chemical protection.
Before beginning to the new growing season, we considered all mentioned facts beforehand and decided to aplly IPM on 10ha.Another 10ha remined with chemical control in order to figure out which method is reasonable from all aspects-yield volume, expenditures, the number of workers needed and etc.
Introduction plan was as following:
1st introduction-on September 9 (week 37) / 2 adult Macrolophus pygmaeus per sq m and 4 Eretmocerius eremicus eggs per sq m.
2nd introduction-on September 27 (week 39) / 2 adult Macrolophus pygmaeus per sq m and 4 Eretmocerius eremicus eggs per sq. m.
The next 2 macrolophus introductions was planned for February (week 5) and for March (week 7) if needed.
After decent liquidation disinfection there was not any pests in greenhouse (regarding to monitoring results) But after receiving propagation we also received different pests on seedlings. Before beneficials introduction we focused to decrease pests level as minimum as possible.Fighting plan was as follows:
Week 34: Spraying Bacillius trunginensis 32000 IU/mg against tuta absoluta (max concentration 150 gr/hl and dripping Ciantraniliprole 200SC (concentration 50 ml/da) against bemisia tabaci.
Week 35: Bacillus treatment was applied repeatedly every week till introduction date.
After introduction of beneficials use of chemicals’ (of course compatibles) was decreased to minimum. Eretmocerius eremicus supported Macrolophus pygmaeus on control of bemisia tabaci. Monitoring results showed that Macrolophus p. prefer feeding on bemisia tabaci and tetranicus urticae more than tuta absoluta. Therefore, controlling of tuta is requiring additional methods, such as black sticker and water traps with feremon (see photo 3 black stikers on palets and by perimeter of greenhouse). Initial number of feremons per hectare was 44 pieces. Beginning from end of the October (when pests’ population try to find warm place) tuta population began to grow inside the greenhouse. That is why the number of feremons was increased till 88 per hectare. That moment Flubendiamid 480SC (consentration 100ml/hl) was used. Spraying repeated with 7day interval (see monitoring table of tuta absoluta).
On December-January period the number of Macrolophus decreased and tuta absoluta increased.
On this period Bacillius truniginensis was used intensively (4-5 times with 5 days interval).It helped to keep tuta under control. Beginning from March Macrolophus population began to grow and it was enough for controlling tuta absoluta till the end of the season. So,no chemicals o bacterial products were used till the end of the season.
In conclusion, chemical and biological controlled compartments were compared. There was more number of damaged fruit by leaf miner on chemical treated field than biological part. Total yield was higher in chemical part than biological part because of some plant loss in biological part as a result of botrytis infection. Botrytis cinerea control was difficult in biological side because of more humidity (variety -Fujimaru F1 was not resistant to botrytis cinerea, leaves from deleafing stayed on the ground and it led to additional humidity inside the greenhouse).