Cowpea, A Major Source of Protein in Africa, Requires Insecticide Applications.


Cowpea Damage From Insects

Cowpea (also known as black-eyed pea) originated in Africa and is the major source of plant proteins in the diet of rural populations in sub-Saharan Africa. Insect pests pose the greatest threat to cowpea production. The crop is attacked at every stage of its growth by insects. Since the late 1970s, extensive studies on insect pests of cowpeas have been conducted at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). IITA’s Guide to Cowpea Production in West Africa states that generally, 2-3 sprays are required for a good crop of cowpea.

“Cowpea is one of the most important food and forage legumes in the semi-arid tropics.

Despite cowpea’s importance and high yield potential in the Nigerian savannas, insect pest attack is a major constraint upon production. Severity can vary, and sometimes lead to total yield loss.

High levels of insect resistance are not available in current cultivars.

Insecticide application is the most widely known means of a pest control method in cowpea; it is not otherwise feasible to grow cowpea commercially. Farmers can improve yield 10-fold if insecticides are used.”

Authors: Kamara, A. Y., et al.
Affiliation: International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Nigeria.
Title: Integrating planting date with insecticide spraying regimes to manage insect pests of cowpea in north-eastern Nigeria.
Source: International Journal of Pest Management. 2010. 56[3]:243-253.

Consumers Want Perfect Avocados: Growers Must Spray

Infected Avocados

Avocado Thrip Fruit Scarring

Historically, the production of avocados in California required little usage of insecticides. Avocado pests were kept under commercially acceptable control by a variety of beneficial organisms. This situation changed in 1996 with the appearance of avocado thrips which feed on the surface of the fruit. Feeding scars develop while the flesh of the fruit is a healthy green. Even partial fruit scarring results in downgrading of fruit in packinghouses because of cosmetic damage unacceptable to consumers .

“The California avocado industry is under increasing threat from the introduction of arthropod pests. The avocado thrips, was first detected in California avocado groves in June 1996, and it has since spread to most of the major production areas within the state where it has become the primary insect pest. The main source of economic loss arises from feeding damage that causes scarring of immature fruit, leading to a reduction in fruit quality at harvest.

In California avocado groves, the use of foliar insecticides is the predominant tactic adopted by growers for the management of arthropod pests, including the avocado thrips. Aerial applications by helicopter are needed for the majority of California avocado groves because most are grown on steep hillsides.”

Author: Byrne, F. J., et al.
Affiliation: University of California
Title: Field evaluation of systemic imidacloprid for the management of avocado thrips and avocado lace bug in California avocado groves.
Source: Pest Management Science. 2010. 66:1129-1136.