A sugarcane crop’s production can be limited by soil fertility, weather conditions, cultural practices, continuous monocropping and poor ratoonability. Even if the plant were to successfully fend off these limiting factors, infestation by pests and diseases almost always spells trouble and unsuspecting farmers fall prey to its ill effects.
Over 45% of yield losses in sugarcane, cotton, maize, tomato and other crops are due to infestation by borer pests followed by sucking and defoliators (tobacco). The economic losses in these cases are substantially high and therefore the use of conventional chemical pesticides is generally recommended.
Redundancy of chemical pesticides
The application of pesticides in foliar route is limited by farm size, cultivation practices, canopy structures and the nature of the crops. Borer pests position themselves within the stem; this internal positioning causes the stem to act as a protection against the entry, penetration and contact poisoning from the chemicals that are used in spray applications.
Chemical pesticides, therefore, are found to be ineffective in controlling these borer pests forcing farmers to look for alternatives. Insects develop resistance to chemicals and hence systemics are of no value.
Ideal pesticide solutions
The most ideal solution for control of pests is biological control; in this, the predators and parasitoid are used to parasitize the borer. Their ability to search, identify and penetrate the barriers of canopy and structure helps them to be the best option for biological control.
Though these bio agents are excellent replacements to the erstwhile chemical pesticides, their unavailability on a large scale limits their successful introduction as natural enemies.
Hence, Sadhana has undertaken the augmentation of these natural enemies by multiplication and manipulation in the laboratory. This has helped bolster what has now become an important alternative to chemical pesticides. Sadhana oversees the production and release of the parasitoid for biological control of pests.
Among the parasitoids, it is only the egg parasitoid, Trichogramma which is produced and released commercially preferably after the attack and subsequent yield loss to the farmers and quality loss to the industries that utilizes the raw material (Example, Sugarcane, Cotton, and Maize).
Bio Control Services
To effectively overcome problems caused by pests, Sadhana offers the following preventive pest management .
The existing pest status is surveyed and a survey report is generated, along with measures for pest management. Forecasting of pest incidence is also done based on weather parameters and pest population dynamics.
Setting up commercial production centres for Tetrastichus (against spodopterain vegetables, sugarcane & tobacco)
We facilitate the setting up of the laboratory as well as the production plan. We also supply the nucleus (thrice) and give constant guidance regarding any problems that might arise. We also help assess, analyze and control quality.
Setting up commercial production centres for Trichogramma (against lepidopteron borer pests in paddy, sugarcane, cotton, maize and vegetables)
We facilitate the laboratory set up and help formulate a production plan. We provide a single supply of the nucleus post which we offer guidance and practical help for any problems that might arise. We also help in quality control.
For the sugarcane industry, we help with Trichogrammaproduction through farmer-entrepreneur model.
Bio control based consulting
- Our consulting aims at developing and standardizing the technology that will help control pests (if any) and is very location specific
- We provide standardization techniques for commercial production of Cotesia against sugarcane and vegetable borer pests
- We provide assistance with management of Early Shoot Borer (ESB), woolly aphid and white grubs in sugarcane
Pest control solutions for other crops
Bio control agents developed for sugarcane can be very well used against pests in other crops such as vegetables, cotton, tobacco and others. We are also well equipped to provide pest control solutions for specific pests based on the needs of the client.