Thursday, May 26, 2016

Biological Control in Brazil is Used on an Area that is Larger than Belgium

By Alexandre Diniz, José Roberto Postali Parra, and Aloisio Coelho Jr.

Some biological control programs involve large-scale rearing of millions insect predators that are released near agricultural crops. In Brazil, researchers have implemented of a number of successful biological control programs.  Brazil is the world’s largest producer of sugarcane, which has one of the oldest biological control programs. The crop’s most important pest is the sugarcane borer (Diatraea saccharalis), which is controlled by the release of the larval parasitoid Cotesia flavipes. Another natural enemy used for this pest is the egg parasitoid Trichogramma galloi. This program started in the 1970s, and today C. flavipes are released in an area that is larger than 30,000 square kilometers, while T. galloi are released in another 5,000 square kilometers — a combined area that is larger than Belgium.......

In addition to the caterpillars, soybeans are attacked by stink bugs. In the 1990s a biological control program used the egg parasitoid Trissolcus basalis against the stink bugs and proved to be very effective, especially in organic and micro-catchment basins areas. However, the program was discontinued because it is difficult to produce stink bug hosts of T. basalis on which to rear the parasitoids. In 2013 a freeze-dried diet was developed to rear the stink bugs, which create a new reason to restart this program, especially considering the area occupied by soybean in Brazil, which is 31.57 million hectares.......To Read More.....

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