Pest status of safflower, Carthamus tinctorius L. in northern parts of Karnataka.
Safflower, Carthamus tinctorius L. is one of the most important rainfed and draught tolerant oil seed crops of India. Safflower is mainly grown for its edible oil in the semi arid tropics of India. Karnataka is the second largest safflower growing state in India. Safflower is attacked by 36 species of pests in India. To identify the major pests of safflower and natural enemies, roving survey was carried out in Northern parts of Karnataka covering 8 districts during December to January 2007-08. Survey results indicated that in general the pest intensity was more where ever safflower was sown as a sole crop and inter cropped with Bengal gram. Among the cropping pattern, safflower as a sole crop and inter cropped with Niger harbored more aphid when compared to any of the cropping patterns. Safflower caterpillar was noticed in few places especially at Dharwad, Koppal and Gadag districts of Karnataka in the early stage of the crop growth. The capsule borer, Helicoverpa armigera (Hubner) pest was recorded in all most all surveyed areas. The natural enemies of both Chrysoperla carnea (Stephens) and coccinellids were higher where ever safflower was inter cropped with coriander and sorghum. It can be concluded from the study sole crop harbored more pests and inter cropped with coriander and sorghum conserves the natural enemies.