Special Issue "Integrated Pest Management of Field Crops"

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472). This special issue belongs to the section "Crop Protection, Diseases, Pest and Weeds".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 March 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Renata Bažok
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department for Agricultural Zoology, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb, Svetosimunska 25, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Interests: western corn rootworm; wireworms; pests of sugar beet; pests of potato and Brassica crops; insect pest resistance to pesticides; other pests of field and vegetable crops; side effects of insecticides (beneficial organisms and ecotoxicology); integrated pest management; biological and botanical insecticides
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Special Issue Information

Respected Colleagues,

In this Special Issue, we focus on recent advances in and methods for integrated pest management (IPM) in field crops. As a cornerstone of sustainable agriculture, IPM seeks to improve farmer practices in order to create higher profits while improving the environment’s quality. The implementation of IPM principles in agricultural production requires new and updated knowledge generated by science and accepted by farmers. We welcome papers dealing with the development of long-term strategies for the minimization of pest and disease occurrence, preferably by enhancing natural control mechanisms to grow a “healthy crop”. We are interested in all varieties of field crops. Specifically, we are interested in papers dealing with the use of resistant cultivars and varieties, cultural practices that minimize pressure from and maximize biological control over pests and diseases, the development of indicators for quantitative assessment of the balance between pests and beneficial organisms, the development and application of novel techniques for pest and disease forecasting, the use of non-chemical pest and disease management practices, and the development and testing of alternatives to chemical pesticides, biological pest control agents that include microbial and botanical pesticides, and semiochemicals, all of which can be valuable components of IPM.

If you are unsure as to whether your manuscript falls within the scope of this Special Issue, please feel free to send us an abstract.

Prof. Renata Bažok
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • integrated pest management
  • field crops

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Article
Genetic and Morphological Approach for Western Corn Rootworm Resistance Management
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 585; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11070585 - 24 Jun 2021
Viewed by 584
Abstract
The western corn rootworm (WCR), is one of the most serious pests of maize in the United States. In this study, we aimed to find a reliable pattern of difference related to resistance type using population genetic and geometric morphometric approaches. To perform [...] Read more.
The western corn rootworm (WCR), is one of the most serious pests of maize in the United States. In this study, we aimed to find a reliable pattern of difference related to resistance type using population genetic and geometric morphometric approaches. To perform a detailed population genetic analysis of the whole genome, we used single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) markers. For the morphometric analyses, hindwings of the resistant and non-resistant WCR populations from the US were used. Genetic results showed that there were some differences among the resistant US populations. The low value of pairwise FST = 0.0181 estimated suggests a lack of genetic differentiation and structuring among the putative populations genotyped. However, STRUCTURE analysis revealed three genetic clusters. Heterozygosity estimates (HO and HE) over all loci and populations were very similar. There was no exact pattern, and resistance could be found throughout the whole genome. The geometric morphometric results confirmed the genetic results, with the different genetic populations showing similar wing shape. Our results also confirmed that the hindwings of WCR carry valuable genetic information. This study highlights the ability of geometric morphometrics to capture genetic patterns and provides a reliable and low-cost alternative for preliminary estimation of population structure. The combined use of SNPs and geometric morphometrics to detect resistant variants is a novel approach where morphological traits can provide additional information about underlying population genetics, and morphology can retain useful information about genetic structure. Additionally, it offers new insights into an important and ongoing area of pest management on how to prevent or delay pest evolution towards resistant populations, minimizing the negative impacts of resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Pest Management of Field Crops)
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Article
Influence of Pre-Sowing Operations on Soil-Dwelling Fauna in Soybean Cultivation
Agriculture 2021, 11(6), 474; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11060474 - 21 May 2021
Viewed by 696
Abstract
The aim of this study was to determine the effects of different pre-sowing operations on the abundance and composition of total soil fauna in soybean cultivation, with special attention to carabids as biological indicators of agroecosystem quality. The study was conducted in central [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to determine the effects of different pre-sowing operations on the abundance and composition of total soil fauna in soybean cultivation, with special attention to carabids as biological indicators of agroecosystem quality. The study was conducted in central Croatia with six different pre-sowing activities (cover crop, mulching, ploughing, glyphosate, fertiliser removal, conventional tillage). Pitfall traps were used to collect soil fauna in April, June and September. After determining the abundance and composition of the fauna, their coenological characteristics were calculated and statistical analysis was performed. During the study, 7836 individuals of soil fauna were collected. The composition consisted of 84% beneficial, 8% harmful and 8% indifferent fauna. Class Insecta was the most numerous with a proportion of 56%, with most members of the family Carabidae (1622 individuals), followed by the class Arachnida (40%). The number of fauna collected was influenced by the interaction between pre-seeding intervention and sampling date. Pre-seeding interventions that did not involve soil activities did not affect the number and composition of soil fauna at the beginning of vegetation. Mechanical interventions in the soil and warmer and drier weather have a negative effect on the number and composition of soil fauna. As the season progresses, the influence of pre-sowing activities on soil fauna in soybean crops decreases. It seems that a reduction in mechanical activities in the shallow seed layer of the soil has a positive effect on species richness or diversity. Of particular note is the large proportion of beneficial insects that currently colonise the study area, characterising soil richness and stable natural equilibrium. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Pest Management of Field Crops)
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Article
Control of Meloidogyne graminicola a Root-Knot Nematode Using Rice Plants as Trap Crops: Preliminary Results
Agriculture 2021, 11(1), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11010037 - 08 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 698
Abstract
Meloidogyne graminicola is one of the most harmful organisms in rice cultivation throughout the world. This pest was detected for the first time in mainland Europe (Northern Italy) in 2016 and was subsequently added to the EPPO Alert List. To date, few methods [...] Read more.
Meloidogyne graminicola is one of the most harmful organisms in rice cultivation throughout the world. This pest was detected for the first time in mainland Europe (Northern Italy) in 2016 and was subsequently added to the EPPO Alert List. To date, few methods are available for the control of M. graminicola and new solutions are required. In 2019, field trials using rice plants as trap crops were performed in a Lombardy region rice field where five plots for three different management approaches were staked out: (i) Uncultivated; (ii) Treated: three separate cycles of rice production where plants were sown and destroyed each time at the second leaf stage; (iii) Control: rice was sown and left to grow until the end of the three cycles in treated plots. The results showed that in the treated plots, the nematode density and the root gall index were lower than for the other two management approaches. Moreover, the plant population density and rice plant growth were higher than the uncultivated and control plots. In conclusion, the use of the trap crop technique for the control of M. graminicola gave good results and thus it could be a new phytosanitary measure to control this pest in rice crop areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Pest Management of Field Crops)
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Article
Evaluation of the Susceptibility of Some Eggplant Cultivars to Green Peach Aphid, Myzus persicae (Sulzer) (Hemiptera: Aphididae)
Agriculture 2021, 11(1), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11010031 - 04 Jan 2021
Viewed by 890
Abstract
Due to the detrimental side-effects of synthetic pesticides, the use of nonchemical strategies in the management of insect pests is necessary. In the present study, the susceptibility of fourteen eggplant cultivars to green peach aphid (M. persicae) were investigated. According to [...] Read more.
Due to the detrimental side-effects of synthetic pesticides, the use of nonchemical strategies in the management of insect pests is necessary. In the present study, the susceptibility of fourteen eggplant cultivars to green peach aphid (M. persicae) were investigated. According to preliminary screening tests, ‘Long-Green’, ‘Ravaya’ and ‘Red-Round’ as relatively resistant, and ‘White-Casper’ and ‘Pearl-Round’ as susceptible cultivars were recognized. In the antixenosis tests, the highest hosting preference was documented for ‘White-Casper’. Population growth parameters were used for evaluation of antibiosis. The highest and lowest developmental time (d) was observed on ‘Long-Green’ (4.33 d) and ‘White-Casper’ (3.26 d), respectively. The highest and lowest intrinsic rates of population increase (rm) were on ‘White-Casper’ (0.384 d−1) and ‘Long-Green’ (0.265 d−1), respectively. Significant differences were observed in the height and fresh and dry weight of infested and noninfected plants. Plant resistance index (PRI), as a simplified way to assess all resistance mechanisms, provides a particular value to determine the proper resistant cultivar. The greatest PRI value was observed on ‘Long-Green’. In general, the ‘Long-Green’ showed the least, and the ‘White-Casper’ displayed the most susceptibility among tested cultivars infested by M. persicae, which might be useful in integrated management of this pest. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Pest Management of Field Crops)
Article
Seasonal Phenology of the Major Insect Pests of Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) and Their Natural Enemies in a Traditional Zone and Two New Production Zones of Peru
Agriculture 2020, 10(12), 644; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10120644 - 18 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 681
Abstract
Over the last decade, the sown area of quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) has been increasingly expanding in Peru, and new production fields have emerged, stretching from the Andes to coastal areas. The fields at low altitudes have the potential to produce higher [...] Read more.
Over the last decade, the sown area of quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) has been increasingly expanding in Peru, and new production fields have emerged, stretching from the Andes to coastal areas. The fields at low altitudes have the potential to produce higher yields than those in the highlands. This study investigated the occurrence of insect pests and the natural enemies of quinoa in a traditional production zone, San Lorenzo (in the Andes), and in two new zones at lower altitudes, La Molina (on the coast) and Majes (in the “Maritime Yunga” ecoregion), by plant sampling and pitfall trapping. Our data indicated that the pest pressure in quinoa was higher at lower elevations than in the highlands. The major insect pest infesting quinoa at high densities in San Lorenzo was Eurysacca melanocampta; in La Molina, the major pests were E. melanocampta, Macrosiphum euphorbiae and Liriomyza huidobrensis; and in Majes, Frankliniella occidentalis was the most abundant pest. The natural enemy complex played an important role in controlling M. euphorbiae and L. huidobrensis by preventing pest resurgence. The findings of this study may assist quinoa producers (from the Andes and from regions at lower altitudes) in establishing better farming practices in the framework of integrated pest management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Pest Management of Field Crops)
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Article
Pyrenophora teres and Rhynchosporium secalis Establishment in a Mediterranean Malt Barley Field: Assessing Spatial, Temporal and Management Effects
Agriculture 2020, 10(11), 553; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10110553 - 18 Nov 2020
Viewed by 792
Abstract
Malt barley is one of the promising crops in Greece, mainly due to high yields and contract farming, which have led to an increase in malt barley acreage. Net form net blotch (NFNB), caused by Pyrenophora teres f. teres, and barley leaf [...] Read more.
Malt barley is one of the promising crops in Greece, mainly due to high yields and contract farming, which have led to an increase in malt barley acreage. Net form net blotch (NFNB), caused by Pyrenophora teres f. teres, and barley leaf scald, caused by Rhynchosporium secalis, are among the most important barley diseases worldwide and particularly in Greece. Their occurrence in malt barley can exert a significant negative effect on malt barley grain yield and quality. An experimental trial across two growing seasons was implemented in Greece in order (i) to estimate the epidemiology of NFNB and leaf scald in a barley disease-free area when the initial inoculation of the field occurs through infected seeds, (ii) to explore the spatial dynamics of disease spread under the interaction of the nitrogen rate and genotype when there are limited sources of infected host residues in the soil and (iii) to assess the relationship among the nitrogen rate, grain yield, quality variables (i.e., grain protein content and grain size) and disease severity. It was confirmed that both NFNB and leaf scald can be carried over from one season to the next on infected seed under Mediterranean conditions. However, the disease severity was more pronounced after the barley tillering phase when the soil had been successfully inoculated, which supports the hypothesis that the most important source of primary inoculum for NFNB comes from infected host residue. Increasing the rate of nitrogen application, when malt barley was cultivated in the same field for a second year in a row, caused a non-significant increase in disease severity for both pathogens from anthesis onwards. However, hotspot and commonality analyses revealed that spatial and genotypic effects were mainly responsible for hiding this effect. In addition, it was found that the effect of disease infections on yield, grain size and grain protein content varied in relation to the genotype, pathogen and stage of crop development. The importance of crop residues in the evolution of both diseases was also highlighted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Pest Management of Field Crops)
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Article
Neonicotinoid Residues in Sugar Beet Plants and Soil under Different Agro-Climatic Conditions
Agriculture 2020, 10(10), 484; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10100484 - 19 Oct 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1251
Abstract
European sugar beet was mostly grown from seeds treated by neonicotinoids which provided efficient control of some important sugar beet pests (aphids and flea beetles). The EU commission regulation from 2018 to ultimately restrict the outdoor application of imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, and clothianidin could [...] Read more.
European sugar beet was mostly grown from seeds treated by neonicotinoids which provided efficient control of some important sugar beet pests (aphids and flea beetles). The EU commission regulation from 2018 to ultimately restrict the outdoor application of imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, and clothianidin could significantly affect European sugar beet production. Although alternative insecticides (spinosad, chlorantraniliprole, neem) are shown to have certain effects on particular pests when applied as seed treatment, it is not likely that in near future any insecticide will be identified as a good candidate for neonicotinoids’ substitution. The aim of this research is to evaluate residue levels (LC-MS/MS method) of imidacloprid and thiamethoxam applied as seed dressing in sugar beet plants during two growing seasons in fields located in different agro-climatic regions and in greenhouse trials. In 2015, 25 to 27 days post planting (PP) maximum of 0.028% of imidacloprid and 0.077% of thiamethoxam were recovered from the emerged plants, respectively. In 2016, the recovery rate from the emerged plants 40 days PP was 0.003% for imidacloprid and 50 days PP was up to 0.022% for thiamethoxam. There were no neonicotinoid residues above the maximum residue level in roots at the time of harvesting, except in case of samples from thiamethoxam variant collected from greenhouse trials in 2016 (0.053 mg/kg). The results of this research lead to the conclusion that the seed treatment of sugar beet leaves minimal trace in plants because of the complete degradation while different behavior has been observed in the two fields and a glasshouse trial regarding the residues in soil. Dry conditions, leaching incapacity, or irregular flushing can result in higher concentrations in soil which can present potential risk for the succeeding crops. The results of our study could provide additional arguments about possible risk assessment for seed treatment in sugar beet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Pest Management of Field Crops)
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Article
Farmers’ Knowledge and Management Practices of Fall Armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith) in Benin, West Africa
Agriculture 2020, 10(10), 430; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10100430 - 25 Sep 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 955
Abstract
Spodoptera frugiperda has caused significant losses of farmer income in sub-Saharan countries since 2016. This study assessed farmers’ knowledge of S. frugiperda, their perceptions and management practices in Benin. Data were collected through a national survey of 1237 maize farmers. Ninety-one point [...] Read more.
Spodoptera frugiperda has caused significant losses of farmer income in sub-Saharan countries since 2016. This study assessed farmers’ knowledge of S. frugiperda, their perceptions and management practices in Benin. Data were collected through a national survey of 1237 maize farmers. Ninety-one point eight percent of farmers recognized S. frugiperda damage, 78.9% of them were able to identify its larvae, and 93.9% of the maize fields were infested. According to farmers, the perceived yield losses amounted to 797.2 kg/ha of maize, representing 49% of the average maize yield commonly obtained by farmers. Chi-square tests revealed that the severity of the pest attacks was significantly associated with cropping practices and types of grown maize varieties. About 16% of farmers identified francolin (Francolinus bicalcaratus), village weaver (Ploceus cucullatus), and common wasp (Vespula vulgaris) as natural enemies and 5% of them identified yellow nutsedge, chan, shea tree, neem, tamarind, and soybean as repellent plants of S. frugiperda. Most farmers (91.4%) used synthetic pesticides and 1.9% of them used botanical pesticides, which they found more effective than synthetic pesticides. Significant relationships exist between farmers’ management practices, their knowledge, organization membership, and contact with research and extension services. More research is required to further understand the effectiveness of botanical pesticides made by farmers against S. frugiperda and to refine them for scaling-up. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Pest Management of Field Crops)
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Review

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Review
Alternative Strategies for Controlling Wireworms in Field Crops: A Review
Agriculture 2021, 11(5), 436; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11050436 - 11 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1450
Abstract
Wireworms, the soil-dwelling larvae of click beetles (Coleoptera: Elateridae), comprise major pests of several crops worldwide, including maize and potatoes. The current trend towards the reduction in pesticides use has resulted in strong demand for alternative methods to control wireworm populations. This review [...] Read more.
Wireworms, the soil-dwelling larvae of click beetles (Coleoptera: Elateridae), comprise major pests of several crops worldwide, including maize and potatoes. The current trend towards the reduction in pesticides use has resulted in strong demand for alternative methods to control wireworm populations. This review provides a state-of-the-art of current theory and practice in order to develop new agroecological strategies. The first step should be to conduct a risk assessment based on the production context (e.g., crop, climate, soil characteristics, and landscape) and on adult and/or larval population monitoring. When damage risk appears significant, prophylactic practices can be applied to reduce wireworm abundance (e.g., low risk rotations, tilling, and irrigation). Additionally, curative methods based on natural enemies and on naturally derived insecticides are, respectively, under development or in practice in some countries. Alternatively, practices may target a reduction in crop damage instead of pest abundance through the adoption of selected cultural practices (e.g., resistant varieties, planting and harvesting time) or through the manipulation of wireworm behavior (e.g., companion plants). Practices can be combined in a global Integrated Pest Management (IPM) framework to provide the desired level of crop protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Pest Management of Field Crops)
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Review
Alternatives to Synthetic Insecticides in the Control of the Colorado Potato Beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata Say) and Their Environmental Benefits
Agriculture 2020, 10(12), 611; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10120611 - 08 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 907
Abstract
In this study, we review the wide range of alternative control methods used to this day to control the Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata Say), the biggest potato pest globally. We further categorize and highlight the advantages and disadvantages of each method [...] Read more.
In this study, we review the wide range of alternative control methods used to this day to control the Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata Say), the biggest potato pest globally. We further categorize and highlight the advantages and disadvantages of each method by comparing them to conventional insecticides. In a second step, we point out the current knowledge about positive and negative impacts of using alternative control methods. By this, we illustrate how alternative control methods, farmers’ activities, and environmental factors (e.g., biodiversity and ecosystem health) are heavily linked in a cycle with self-reinforcing effects. In detail, the higher the acceptance of farmers to use alternative control methods, the healthier the ecosystem including the pest’s enemy biodiversity. The following decrease in pest abundance possibly increases the yield, profit, and acceptance of farmers to use less conventional and more alternative methods. Overall, we try to balance the positive and negative sides of alternative control methods and combine them with current knowledge about environmental effects. In our view, this is a fundamental task for the future, especially in times of high species loss and increasing demand for environmentally friendly agriculture and environmentally friendly products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Pest Management of Field Crops)
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