Assessing the Potential of Inoculative Field Releases of Telenomus remus to Control Spodoptera frugiperda in Ghana
Published: July, 2021
In response to the threat caused by the fall armyworm to African maize farmers, we conducted a series of field release studies with the egg parasitoid Telenomus remus in Ghana. Three releases of ≈15,000 individuals each were conducted in maize plots of 0.5 ha each in the major and minor rainy seasons of 2020, and compared to no-release control plots as well as to farmer-managed plots with chemical pest control. No egg mass parasitism was observed directly before the first field release. Egg mass parasitism reached 33% in the T. remus release plot in the major rainy season, while 72–100% of egg masses were parasitized in the minor rainy season, during which pest densities were much lower. However, no significant difference in egg mass parasitism was found among the T. remus release plots, the no-release control plots and the farmer-managed plots. Similarly, no significant decrease in larval numbers or plant damage was found in the T. remus release fields compared to the no-release plots, while lower leaf and tassel damage was observed in farmer-managed plots. Larval parasitism due to other parasitoids reached 18–42% in the major rainy season but was significantly lower in the minor rainy season, with no significant differences among treatments. We did not observe significant differences in cob damage or yield among the three treatments. However, the lack of any significant differences between the release and no-release plots, which may be attributed to parasitoid dispersal during the five weeks of observation, would require further studies to confirm. Interestingly, a single application of Emamectin benzoate did not significantly affect the parasitism rates of T. remus and, thus, merits further investigation in the context of developing IPM strategies against FAW.
Farmers’ crops are increasingly at the mercy of climate change, pests and diseases. PlantwisePlus will work to help countries predict, prepare for and prevent potential threats and reduce crop losses. We will provide comprehensive support to countries and farmers so they meet the increasing global demand for quality food in a changing climate.
The global cost of invasive species is estimated at US$1.4 trillion per year – close to 5% of global gross domestic product. Invasives disproportionately affect vulnerable communities in poor rural areas, especially in developing countries which depend on natural resources, healthy ecosystems, trade and tourism for their livelihoods.
Start: 02/01/18 -End: 31/03/21