A System Approach to Sustainable Insect Pest Management in Cotton
Mar 6, 2019
A sustainable insect pest management strategy has been developed with special emphasis on Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) the success of which evaluated through farmers’ participatory programmes in two villages, Idigarai and Kalipatti, near Coimbatore. The main components of this strategy are (i) growing cowpea, Vigna sinensis on irrigation channels and bunds to increase predator-coccinellids (ii) imidacloprid seed treatment to reduce or avoid early season insecticide application against sucking pests for 40-50 days (iii) removal of terminals (topping) at 90-100 days of growth to encourage sympodial branching and reduce Helicoverpa oviposition on new growth (iv) insecticide application based on ETL (v) ensuring the correct dose of insecticide and uniform coverage (vi) rotation of various chemical groups and (vii) hand picking of bigger boll worms (4 to 6 instars) before spraying during peak infestation periods. Adoption of this strategy gave effective management of cotton pests including the resistant pest Helicoverpa armigera., resulting in reduced insecticide usage and plant protection cost by 54 and 39 % for the two villages, respectively.