Towards environmentally safe control strategy of agricultural insect pests
Agricultural Research Corporation (ARC), Crop Protection Research Center, Sudan
In the last decades during the post-war period, the agriculture has developed towards methods that are more intensive. In the Sudan Gezira, both field crops like cotton and vegetable crops such as tomato, okra are heavily sprayed with agrochemicals. For example cotton spraying started as early as season 1945/46 when only 1% of the cotton area was sprayed once. By 1978/79 the problem caused by the cotton insect pests, particularly the cotton whitefly (Bemisia tabaci) flared up. The number of sprays per season went up, reaching 9.25 sprays in season 1978/79, which might be attributed partly to the rapid resurgence of insects' pests as a result of the use of non-selective insecticides, which badly affected the natural enemies of these pests. The joint use of natural enemies and selective pesticides might attribute to combat this problem. Studying the side effects of pesticides is of prime importance to save natural population and encourage their role as biological control agents. This paper discuss the various methods which can be used to study the side effects on natural enemies and the results of some studies carried on the side effects of some insecticides on natural enemies both at small and large scale levels in Sudan. The study includes testing the side effects of some insecticides and their impact on bio-safety (Talstar, Polo, Metasystox, Marshal and the mixture Reldan + Endosulfan) on two Predators at small-scale level at the Gezira Research Farm, Wad medani. The Impact of Polo (diafenthiuron) on natural enemies in the cotton-based ecosystem of the Gezira Scheme (Large Scale) was tested in the Study. The results indicated that Polo was relatively safe both at small scale and large-scale level to the natural enemies observed during the study. This study can be considered as a begin of regional testing programme in Africa with collaboration of international organisation interested on conserving bio-agent. The ultimate goal should be the implanting an integrated approach to problems facing agriculture to secure food and the environment.
Keywords: Biodiversity, cotton, insecticides, side effects, Sudan
Contact Address: Hayder Abdelgader, Agricultural Research Corporation (ARC), Crop Protection Research Center, P. O. Box 126, Wad Medani, Sudan, e-mail: abdelgaderhyahoo.com