Biocontrol-based management of fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (J E Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) on Indian maize.
Spodoptera frugiperda (J E Smith) (fall armyworm) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), is a key pest of maize that has recently entered in India causing damage and yield loss. A biocontrol-based integrated pest management (IPM) strategy was designed and evaluated in farmer's field during rabi and kharif season (2018-2019). IPM strategy comprising installation of controlled release FAW pheromone traps, four releases of Trichogramma pretiosum Riley, two sprays of neem oil, one spray of each Bacillus thuringiensis (NBAIR-BT25) and Metarizium anisopliae (NBAIR Ma-35) resulted in 76 and 71.64% egg mass; 80 and 74.44% larval population reduction at 60 days after treatment during rabi and kharif season, respectively. Cob yield per acre in biocontrol-based IPM field was higher than the farmer's practice (6-7 sprays of emamectin benzoate 5% SG) during both the seasons, and it resulted in 38.3 and 42.29% gain in yield per acre during rabi and kharif, respectively. Therefore, this module forms a base to manage the fall armyworm in an eco-friendly and farmer friendly manner. Future research with other alternatives has also been discussed.