ORGANIC FARMING :: Pest Management

1. Pests of Rice

Green leafhopper
Management

  • Use resistant varieties like IR 50, CR 1009, Co 46, PTB 2 and PTB 18.
  • Nursery should not be raised near the lamp posts
  • Apply neem cake @ 12.5 kg/20 cent nursery as basal dose
  • Maintain the water level at 2.5 cm for 3 days
Brown plant leafhopper (Nilaparvata lugens)
Management
  • Use resistant varieties like Aruna, Karnataka, Karthika, Krishnaveni, Makon,
  • Abhey, Asha, Divya, Py 3, Co 42, Ptb 33 and Ptb 21.
  • Avoid close planting and provide 30 cm rogue spacing at every 2.5 m to reduce the pest incidence.
  • Control irrigation by intermittent draining
  • Set up light traps to monitor pest population and to control
  • Release of natural enemies like Lycosa pseudoannulataCyrtorhinus lividipennis
  • Drain the water before the use of insecticides and direct the spray towards the base of the plants
  • Spray neem seed kernel extract 5% (25 kg/ha) (or) neem oil 2% (10 l/ha)
White backed planthopper (Sogatella furcifera)
Management
  • Release of egg parasitoid, Anagrus sp. and adults and nymphs of the dryinid
  • Pachygonatopus sp. Predators recorded on the insect are Coccinella arcuata, Cyrtorrhinus lividipennis, Tytthus parviceps
Mealybug (Brevennia rehi)
Management
  • The mealy bug is parasitised by Adelencyrtus sp., Dolihoceros sp., Gyranusa sp., Parasyrphophagus sp., Xanthoencyrtus sp and predated upon by Gitonides perspicax, Leucopis luteicomis, Scymnus sp., Pullus sp., Anatrichus pygmaeusMepachymerus ensifer.
  • Remove the grasses from the bunds and trim the bunds during the main field preparation before transplanting.
  • Remove and destroy the affected plants.
Rice black bug (Scotinophora lurida and S. coarctata)
Management
  • Keep the field free from weeds and grasses
  • Drain the excess water from the field
  • Set up light trap during the full moon period to attract large number of bugs and kill
  • Conserve the predators viz., spiders, coccinellids and wasps to check the pest
  • Ducks can be allowed in the field to pick up the bugs
Rice earhead bug (Leptocorisa acuta)
Botanical powder formulations
  • Neem seed kernel extract 5%
  • Notchi leaf powder extract 5%
  • Ipomoea leaf powder extract 5%
  • Prosopis leaf powder extract 5%
Paddy stem borer (Scirpophaga incertulas)
Management
  • Grow resistant varieties like Ratna, Jaya, TKM 6, IR 20 and IR 26
  • Clip the tip of seedlings before transplanting to eliminate egg masses
  • Avoid close planting and continuous water stagnation at early stages
  • Collect and destroy the egg masses
  • Pull out and destroy the affected tillers
  • Set up light traps to attract and kill the moths
  • Harvest the crop upto the ground level and disturb the stubbles with plough immediately after the harvest
  • Release the egg parasitoid, Trichogramma japonicum on 30 and 37 DAT twice @ 5 ml/ha/release followed by monocrotophos 36 SL spray thrice @ 1000 ml/ha on 58, 65 and 72 DAT reduce the damage.
  • Apply Bacillus thuringiensis var kurstaki and neem seed kernel extract in the combination of 2.5 kg/ml and 1% to reduce the oviposition by the stemborer.
Gall midge (Orseolia oryzae)
Management
  • Encourage early planting of the crop to escape from infestation
  • Use resistant varieties like MDU-3, Shakthi, Vikram, Sureka
  • Harvest the crop and plough immediately
  • Remove the alternate host and adjust the time of planting
  • Use quick growing varieties
  • Set up light trap @ 1 / ha as a monitoring device
  • Infra red light trap attracts gall midge effectively
  • Release larval parasitoid: Platygaster oryzae through parasitized galls @ 1 per 10 m2 in the main field at 10 DAT.
  • The carabid beetle, Ophionia indica is an effective predator.
  • Conserve the spider predators like Tetragnatha and Argiope catenulata in rice ecosystem to feed on the adult midge.
Swarming caterpillar (Spodoptera mauritia)
Management
  • Release larval parasitoids Apanteles ruficrusMeteorus sp., Charops bicolor,
  • C. dominans, Drino unisetosa, Pseudoperichaeta orientalisStrobliomyia aegyptia, Pseudogonia cinerascens, Tachinia fallan, Cuphocera varia, Sturmia inconspicua, Chelonus sp., Euplectrus euplexiaeE. spodopterae.
  • Pupa by Netelia sp., Actia sp., Drino sp. and Isomera cinerascensHexamermis sp. a parasitic nematode parasitises the larva.
  • The vertebrate predators of the larvae are Corvus splendens, C. macrorhynchus, Bubalcus coromandus, Ardeela grayi, Amaurovius phoenicocurus, Acridotherestristis.
  • Flood the nursery to expose the hiding larvae to the surface and thus birds pick
  • them up.
  • Kerosenate the water while irrigation to suffocate and kill the larvae.
  • Allow the ducks into the field to feed on the larvae.
Rice case worm (Nymphula depunctalis) 
Management
  • Release larval parasitoids viz., Elasmus sp., Apanteles sp., Bracon sp., Hormiues sp.
  • Release pupal parasitoids viz., Pediobius sp., Apsilops sp., Eupteromalus parnarae
  • Drain water from the field
  • Dislodge the cases by running a rope over the young crop
Leaf folder (or) leaf roller (Cnaphalocrocis medinalis)
Management
  • Use resistant varieties like TNAU LFR 831311, Cauveri, Akashi, TKM-6, IET 7511, IET 9225 and IET 9797.
  • Clipping of affected leaves reduces the pest population.
  • Keep the bunds clean by trimming them and remove the grassy weeds.
  • Avoid use of excessive nitrogenous fertilizer.
  • Set up light traps to attack and kill the moths.
  • Release Trichogramma chilonis on 37, 44 and 51 DAT thrice followed by three sprays of monocrotophos 36 SL @ 1000 ml/ha on 58, 65 and 72 DAT.
  • Spray neem seed kernel extract 5% @ 25 kg .
Grasshopper (Hieroglyphus banian)
Management
  • Expose the eggs to be picked up by birds after ploughing and trim the bunds
  • Bio-control agents such as Cacallus spp., Barycomus spp. and Seelio spp., which are egg parasites should be encouraged.
Short horned grasshopper (Oxya nitidula)
Management
  • Expose the eggs during summer ploughing and they will be picked up by birds.

Spiny beetle / Rice hispa (Dicladispa armigera)
Management

  • The leaf tips containing blotch mines should be plucked and destroyed
  • Manual collection and killing of beetles with hand nets may help in reducing the population of the pest.
Integrated Pest Management in Rice
A. Cultural method
  • Remove / destroy stubbles after harvest and keep the field free from weeds.
  • Trim and plaster the bunds of rice field to expose the eggs of grasshoppers and to eliminate the bugs breeding in grasses.
  • Form the buds narrow and short to reduce the damage by rodents.
  • Use resistant varieties wherever available.
  • Provide effective drainage wherever there is problem of BPH.
  • Clip the tip of seedling before transplanting to prevent the carry over of egg masses of rice yellow stem borer from nursery to mainfield.
  • Organise synchronized planting wherever possible.
  • Leave 30 cm rogue space at every 2.5 m to reduce damage by BPH and rodents.
  • Avoid use of excessive nitrogenous fertilizers.
  • Use irrigation water judiciously (Alternative webbing x drying reduce BPH and case worm).
  • Remove the egg masses of stem borer in the mainfield.
B. Mechanical methods
  • Dig out the rat burrows and destroy the rats and young ones at the beginning of the season.
  • Set up light traps to monitor and control pests.
  • Set up-bow traps to kill rodents.
C. Biological methods
  • Release Trichogramma japonicum on 30 and 37 DAT twice 5 ml/ha/release against stem borer.
  • Release Trichogramma chilonis on 37, 44 and 51 DAT (Thrice) @ 5 ml/ha/release against leaf folder.
  • Release of Platygaster oryzae parasitized galls @ 1 per 10 m2 in the mainfield on, 10 DAT against gall midge.
  • Set up owl perches to reduce rat damage.
D. Plant products
  • Spray neem seed kernel extract 5% (25 kg/ha), neem oil 3% (15 lit/ha) to control brown planthopper.
  • Spray botanical powder formulation viz., NSKE, Vitex negundo (Notchi), Prosopis juliflora and Ipomoea carnea leaf extract 5% to control earhead bug and black bug.

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2. Pests of Cotton

Leafhopper (Amrasca devastans)

Management

  • Use resistant varieties like MCU 3, MCU 5 and MCU 9
  • Setup light trap to monitor the broods of leaf hopper to attract and kill
  • Release predators viz Chrysopa carnea
  • Early sowing and close spacing of cotton reduces pest infestation particularly, if the rainfall is heavy
Cotton aphid (Aphis gossypii) 

Management

  • Release biocontrol agents viz., Coccinellid beetle Monochilus sexmaculatus and Coccinella septumpunctata and Aphelinus maliA. flavipes.
  • Predators - Phylloscopus tristis
  • Monitor the nymphs and adults of early season sucking pests from the 14th day after sowing.
Thrips (Thrips tabaci)

Management

  • Monitor the nymphs and adults of early season sucking pests from the 14th day after sowing.

Whitefly (Bemisia tabaci)

Management

  • Use g with recommended spacing, preferably wider spacing is  essential and late white fly tolerant varieties like LPS 141 and Supriya
  • Timely so win sowing may be avoided.
  • Avoid the alternative, cultivated host crops of the white fly in the vicinity of the cotton crop. Cultivation of brinjal, bhendi, tomato and tobacco near the cotton field may be avoided.
  • Grow cotton only once in a year either in winter or summer season in any cotton tract.
  • Adopt crop rotation with non-preferred host such as sorghum, ragi, maize etc., to check the build up of the pest.
  • Remove and destroy alternate weed hosts like Abutilon indicumSolanum nigrum from the fields and neighbouring areas.
  • Field sanitation may be given proper attention.
  • Judicious irrigation management and nitrogenous fertilizer application may be followed to arrest the excessive vegetative growth and pest build up.
  • Monitor the activities of the adult white flies by setting up yellow pan traps and sticky traps at 1 foot height and also in situ counts.
  • Collect and remove white fly infested leaves from the plants and those which were shed due to the attack of the pest and destroying them.
  • Spray NSKE 5% and neem oil 5 ml
Red cotton bug (Dysdercus cingulatus)

Management

  • Biocontrol agent Harpactor costalis predaceous on nymph and adult
  • Since the pest feeds gregariously, the infested leaves or bolls can be shaken in water and drowned.
  • Plough the field to expose the eggs.
Stem weevil (Pempherules affinis) 

Management

  • The infested plants should be removed and destroyed
  • Use resistant variety MCU 3 against stem weevil
  • Apply farm yard manure at 25 t or 250 kg of neem cake/ha.
Tobacco Cutworm (Spodoptera litura)

Management

  • Use of light trap to monitor and kill the attracted adult moths. Set up the sex pheromone trap Pherodin S.L. at 12/ha to monitor the activity of the pest and to synchronise the pesticide application, if need be, at the maximum activity stage.
  • Growing castor along border and irrigation bunds. Removal and destruction of egg masses in castor and cotton crops.
  • Removal and destruction of early stage larvae found in clusters which can be located easily from a distance.
  • Collection and destruction of shed materials.
  • Hand picking and destruction of grown up caterpillars.

Green bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera)

Management

  • Premonsoon sowing during 4th week of September significantly lower the bollworm damage in rainfed areas of Virudhunagar and Thoothukudi districts.
Other Management Practices
  • Pest monitoring through light traps, pheromone traps and in situ assessments by roving and fixed plot surveys has to be intensified at farm level, village level, and block level, regional and state levels. For bollworm, H. armigera management, an action threshold of one egg per plant or 1 larva/ plant may be adopted.
Cultural practices
  • Synchronized sowing of cotton preferably with short duration varieties in each cotton ecosystem.
  • Avoiding continuous cropping of cotton both during winter and summer seasons in the same area as well as ratooning.
  • Avoiding monocropping. Growing of less preferred crops like green gram, blackgram, soyabean, castor, sorghum etc., along with the cotton as intercrop or border crop or alternate crop to reduce the pest infestation.
  • Removal and destruction of crop residues to avoid carry over of the pest to the next season, and avoiding extended period of crop growth by continuous irrigation.
  • Optimise the use of nitrogenous fertilizers which will not favour the multiplication of the pest.
  • Judicious water management for the crop to prevent excessive vegetative growth and larval harborage.
Biological control
  • Application of nuclear polyhedrosis virus (NPV) at 3 x 10 12 POB /ha in evening hours at 7th and 12th week after sowing.
  • Conservation and augmentation of natural predators and parasites for effective control of the pest.
  • Inundative release of egg parasite, Trichogramma spp., at 6.25 cc/ha at 15 days interval 3 times from 45 DAS egg-larval parasite, Chelonus blacksburnii and the predatorChrysoperla 1,00,000/ha at 6th, 13th and 14th week after sowing.

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3. Pests of Sugarcane

Shoot borer (Chilo infuscatellus)
Management

  • Resistant varieties: CO 312, CO 421, CO 661, CO 917 and CO 853
  • Planting – December – January escapes the incidence
  • Intercrop: Daincha – low shoot borer incidence
  • Earthing up – 30th day
  • Trash mulching: 10 – 15 cm thickness on 3 days after planting
  • Ensure adequate moisture
  • Remove and destroy dead hearts
  • Tachinid parasite: Sturmiopsis inferens @ 125 gravid females

Stem or internode borer
 Management

  • Resistant varieties: CO 975, CO 7304 and COJ 46
  • Collect and destroy the eggs periodically
  • Detrash: 150 and 210 DAP
  • Avoid use of excessive nitrogen fertilizers
  • Egg parasitoid: Trichogramma chilonis @ 2.5 m.l / ha – 6 releases – 4th month onwards at 15 days intervals
  • Larval parasitoids: Stenobracon deesae, Xanthopimpla nursei, Apanteles flavipes
  • Pupal parasitoids: Tetrastichus ayyari, Trichopilus diatraeae, Xanthopimpla stemmato

Top shoot borer

  • Dead heart in grown up canes; dead heart reddish brown in colour
  • Parallel rows of shot holes in the emerging leaves and red tunnels in the   midribs of leave
  • Resistant varieties:  CO 419, CO 745 and CO 6516
  • Tolerant varieties: CO 859, CO1158 and CO 7224
  • Collect and destroy the egg masses
  • Ichneumonid parasitoid:Isotima javensis @ 100 pairs/ ha (prepupal parasitoid)
  • Egg parasitoids: Telenomus beneficiens, Tetrastichus schoenobi,  Trichogramma minutum
  • Larval parasitoids: Goniozus indicus, Chelonus sp.
  • Pupal parasitoid:Tetrastichus ayyari

Leafhopper
Management

  • Detrash on the  150th and 210 th day of planting.
  • Release lepidopteran parasite Epiricania melanoleuca @4-5 lacs egg/cocoon/h

Scale insect
Management

  • Detrash as per schedule
  • Drain excess water
  • Release lady bird beetles Chilocoris nigritus or  Phyarascymnus horni

Biological Control
Shoot borer can be controlled by releasing 76 gravid females of Sturmiopsis inferens/ha. Release egg parasitoids, Trichogramma australicum or T.chilonis 6 times @ 1cc/release (50,70, 80,90,100,110 days after planting) to control  internode borer. Repeat the release from 50th day at fortnightly for the control of internode borer. On 30th and 45th day after planting, apply granulosis virus at 108 IBS ml (300 diseased larvae/ac) in 200 lit/acre or release 50 gravid females of Sturmiopsis inferns. Top borer can be successfully controlled by releasing Isotima javensis at 40 pairs/ac. Release of Epiricania melanoleuca egg masses and cocoon 4- lacs/ha on for managing Pyrilla.


4. Pests of Green Gram

Gram caterpillar (Helicoverpa armigera)
Management

  • Pheromone traps for Helicoverpa armigera 12/ha
  • Bird perches 50/ha
  • Hand picking of larvae
  • Ha NPV  1.5 x1012 POB/ha with teepol (1 ml/lit.)
  • Apply any one of the following(Spray fluid 625 l/ha)
  • Neem seed kernel extract - 5% twice followed by Neem oil - 12.5 l/ha
    (Note: Insecticide / Ha NPV spray should be applied when the larvae are in early stage)

Storage pests (Callosobruchus chinensi, C. maculates) 
Management

  • Dry the seeds adequately to reduce moisture level to 10 %.
  • Use pitfall traps or two in one model trap to assess the time of emergence of field carried over pulse beetle in storage and accordingly sun-dry the produce.
  • Seed: Mix any one of the following for every 100 kg : TNAU Neem oil 60 EC (C) - 1 lit., Pungam oil - 1 lit.
  • Pack in polythene lined gunny bags for storage.

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5. Pests of Red gram

Pod borers:Spotted pod borer (Maruca testulalis); Grampod borer (Helicoverpa armigera); Pod fly (Melanagromyza obtuse); Pod bug (Clavigralla gibbesa)

Management

  • Pheromone traps for Helicoverpa armigera 12/ha
  • Bird perches 50/ha
  • Mechanical collection of grown up larva and blister beetle
  • Ha NPV 3 x1012 POB/ha in 0.1% teepol
  • NSKE 5% twice followed by triazophos 0.05%
  • Neem oil 2%

Note: Insecticide / Ha NPV spray should be made when the larvae are up to third instars

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6. Pests of Black gram

Tobacco cut worm (Spodoptera litura)
Management

  • Use of light trap to monitor and kill the attracted adult moths. Set up the sex pheromone traps at 12/ha to monitor the activity of the pest and to synchronise the pesticide application, if need be, at the maximum activity stage.
  • Growing castor along borders.
  • Removal and destruction of egg masses in castor and cotton crops.
  • Removal and destruction of early stage larvae found in clusters which can be located easily even from a distance.
  • Hand picking and destruction of grown up caterpillars.
  • Spraying NPV at 1.5 x 1012 POB/ha with teepol (1ml/ lit.)
  • Use of poison bait pellets prepared with rice bran 12.5 kg, jaggery 1.25 kg, carbaryl 50 WP 1.25 kg and water 7.5 litres. This bait can be spread in the fields in the evening hours so that the caterpillars coming out of the soil, feed and get killed.

Storage pests (Callosobruchus chinensi, C. maculates)
Management

  • Dry the seeds adequately to reduce moisture level to 10 %.
  • Use pitfall traps or two in one model trap to assess the time of emergence of field carried over pulse beetle in storage and accordingly sun-dry the produce.
  • Seed: Mix any one of the following for every 100 kg : TNAU Neem oil 60 EC (C) - 1 lit  Pungam oil - 1 lit.
  • Pack in polythene lined gunny bags for storage

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7. Pests of Pearl Millet

Stem borer (Chilo partellus)

Management

  • Set up light trap till midnight to attract and kill the stem borer moth.
  • Collect the stubbles after harvest and burn to destroy diapausing borers.

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8. Pests of Sorghum

Shootfly (Atherigona varia soccata)
Management

  • Use resistant varieties like Co-1, CSH 15R, Maldandi and Hagari.
  • Sow the sorghum immediately after the receipt of monsoon rain to minimise the shoot fly damage.
  • Use higher seed rate (12.5 kg/ha) and remove the shoot fly damaged seedlings at the time of thinning or raise nursery and transplant only healthy seedlings.
  • Pull out plants showing dead hearts and destroy at the time of thinning.
  • Set up hanging type of plastic fishmeal trap @ 12/ha till that is 30 days old.
  • Release larval parasitoids viz., Tetrastichus nyemitavusT. coimbaborensis, Callitula sp., Diaulinopsis sp.,
  • Pupal parasitoid - Cratalpiella sp.
  • Predator - Abrolophus sp.
Stem borer (Chilo partellus
Management
  • Dead hearts should be pulled out and used as fodder (or) burried in manure pits.
  • The stubbles should be ploughed up during winter and burnt to destroy the hibernating larvae.
  • Resistant varieties against jowar stem borer should be encouraged.
  • Sow the lab lab or cowpea as an intercrop to minimise the stem borer damage (Sorghum: Lab lab 4:1)
  • Set up light trap till midnight to attract and kill the stemborer moths.
  • Bio-control agents viz.,Trichogramma minutumBracon chinensis (egg parasites) and Microbracon chilocida, Apanteles flavipesXanthopimpla spp. (larval parasites should be encouraged).       
Pink stem borer (Sesamia inferens)
Management
  • Release egg parasitoids: Telenomus sp., Trichogramma minutum
  • Larval parasitoids: Apanteles flavipes, Bracon drinensis
  • Pupal parasitoids: Tetrastichus ayyari
Grain midge (Contarinia sorgicola)
Management
  • Sett up of light traps till mid night to monitor, attract and kill adults of stem borer, grain midge and earhead caterpillars.
Shoot bug (Peregrinus maidis)
Management
  • Release egg parasitoids viz., Paranagrus optabilisOctetrastichus indicus
  • Predators - Coccinella septumpunctata, Menochilus sexmaculatusGeocoris tricolor
Mirid bug (Creontiades pallidifer)
Management
  • Release larval parasitoids Apanteles sp., Eupelones popa
  • Larval and pupal parasitoid Tetrastichus spp.
  • Predators - Orius albidipennis; Tapinoma indicum
Earhead caterpillar (Helicoverpa armigera)
Management
  • Set up of light traps till mid night to monitor, attract and kill adults of stem borer, grain midge and ear head caterpillars.
  • Set up sex pheromone traps at 12/ha to attract male moths of Helicoverpa armigera from flowering to grain hardening. Two applications of NPV at 10 days interval at 1.5 X1012 POB along with crude sugar 2.5 kg + cotton seed kernel powder 250 g on the earheads is effective in reducing the larval population of Helicoverpa.

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