Aug. 2, 2018
By Leonardo Gottems, reporter for AgroPages
Embrapa Algodão and the Association of Cotton Producers of Minas Gerais negotiated a partnership to amplify the biological control of plagues in the Brazilians state of Minas Gerais. The main goal was to develop production of the biological agent, Catolacus Grandis, on a large scale. Catolacus Grandis is a parasitoid that can be used to reduce the production of boll weevil, the main plague that attacks cotton crops.
The Association's Executive Director, Licio Pena, highlighted that the factory already produces on a large scale the biological agent, Trichogramma pretiosum, which is released via drones into all the cultures of the property of the associates with excellent results in the control of lepidoptera in the crops of cotton, soybeans, corn, peas, kidney beans, and tomatoes.
Licio Pena added that it is currently at the stage of testing the development of two natural enemies, Telenomus podisi and Chrysoperla. He revealed that the main aim behind partnering with Embrapa was for the development of a methodology for the large-scale production of the biological agent, Catolacus Grandis.
Researcher Raul Almeida and two other colleagues of the Embrapa cotton unit will visit the biofactory of the association in Uberlândia, Minas Gerais, during the second half of August for the consolidation of a work plan for the control of boll weevil.
Embrapa highlighted that the use of natural enemies (predators, parasitoids, and entomopathogens) for the control of agricultural plagues maintains the balance of the agroecosystem, in order to “reduce the density of the plague population at levels that do not burden the crop with regard to the economic, environmental and human health aspects; reduce or eliminate agrochemicals; and maintain sustainability of the farm business”.
“It is a rational and healthy control method, which has the final goal of using these natural enemies that do not leave a residue in the feed and do not cause harm to the environment and the health of the population,” concluded Embrapa.