Save Palm Trees from Weevil Devils
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Management of Red Palm Weevil

April 29th, 2008 Posted in Management methods | 95 Comments »

1. Preventive methods: The prophylactic or preventive methods are meant to delay or prevent the entry of the palm weevil into new gardens, locations, or regions.  For this purpose most vulnerable stages of the palms are treated with pesticides, cultural practices like leaf cutting are modified, phytosanitation, plant quarantine besides use of pheromone trapping system to attract and kill the adult weevils.

2. Curative methods: After detection of infestion, most suitable method of control should be applied. Detailed discussion is given elsewhere.

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Curative methods

April 29th, 2008 Posted in Management methods | 112 Comments »

Stem injectionOnce the damage is identified based on symptoms, it is important to take up plant protection measures at the earliest.  Usually the damaged tissue is removed and a suitable pesticide is applied to the damaged part.  The part of damaged stem is drilled with a few holes and an effective chemical in appropriate dose is poured into the holes and sealed.  The systemic pesticide will penetrate the stem tissues and kills the pest stages present.  Even fumigation is resorted in some cases depending on the type of damage.

If any palm is killed, it is better to cut it into pieces, apply pesticide and finally burn.  The material should be properly burnt to prevent escapes.  Until the dead palm is disposed of, the adult weevils continue to emerge from inside and spread in the entire garden and cause great damage.

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Pheromone Trapping

April 29th, 2008 Posted in Management methods | 115 Comments »

 

Attract and Kill

Pheromone trapTaking advantage of the adult weevils attraction to the fermenting liquids especially sap from the palm, a poisonous broth was used to bait and kill the weevils the past.  This techniques was continuously refined and sugarcane baited traps were successfully used for collection of weevils for a long time.

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Biocontrol agents

April 29th, 2008 Posted in Biological Control | 98 Comments »

In nature there are some predators like earwigs which feed on the loose eggs.  However, there are no biocontrol agents capable of reducing the pest population.  Several laboratories have tested and tried to introduce biocontrol agents like entomopathogenic nematodes, fungal pathogens etc., but with very little success.  Although some success rate was reported in some regions, it was mainly confined to cooler weather conditions only.  Hence, more and more innovative ideas should be attempted.


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Biotechnology

April 29th, 2008 Posted in Innovations | 104 Comments »

Many advances have been made in the frontier areas of biotechnology, tissue culture, genetic evaluation, genomics of plants and insects.  Some mind boggling technologies which were only hypothetical have been transformed into reality in the form of GM crops.  Along with positives, there are several issues concerned with the introduction of GM crops tolerant to insects, especially in the case of food crops.  We are definitely going to see many innovations and breakthroughs in the field of agricultural sciences.  As long as these cutting edge technologies are within the stipulated parameters, one need not be unnecessarily worried.  Unless we think differently certain problems continues to elude us.  Therefore, we should strive hard to keep the new areas of research highly innovative but at the same time should not create any new problems. 

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Tail piece

April 29th, 2008 Posted in Tail Piece | 1 Comment »

Before I conclude, the management of red palm weevil is possible only with the cooperation of growers, farmers, governemental departments, dedicated researchers, policy makers and research organizations.  Today the world we live in is like a global village.  If somewhere some new pest or emerging pest appears for the first time, it is imperative for us to pass on the information as quickly as possible to every one who grows that plant.  This helps the world community to be better prepared and equipped with adequate resouces to solve the problem.  This effort, I hope will go a long way in meeting the ever increasing needs of the agricultural community to produce quality foods with out sacrifing the yeilds.  Stakeholder in the managemnt of Red Palm Weevil are encouraged to express their views and bring breakthrough news for the benefit of the entire research, extension, and farming fraternity. 


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