Pakistan warned against deadly wheat pest

The Internati­onal Maize and Wheat Impro­vement Centre (CIMMYT) has cautioned Pakistan to take steps to offer protection to its plants from the ‘fall armyworm’ (FAW), a devastating pest that has been identified for the first time on the Indian subcontinent.

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Director-General, CIMMYT, Dr Martin Kropff, now visiting Pakistan, held a meeting with Minister for National Food Security and Research Sahibzada Mehboob Sultan on Thursday and offered cooperation of the Mexico-based organisation in tackling the prevalent risk of FAW in Pakistan.

“We want that our future cooperation in this regard must continue, and Pakistan may not only ensure a prompt surveillance system but also bring more disease-resistant varieties of wheat and maize,” Dr Martin said.

Native to the Americas, the pest is understood to eat over 80 plant species, with a specific preference for maize, a prime staple crop world wide.

The fall armyworm was once first officially reported in Nigeria in West Africa in 2016, and rapidly unfold throughout 44 nations in sub-Saharan Africa. Sightings of damage to maize plants in India because of ‘fall armyworm’ mark the primary record of the pest in Asia.

The pest has the possible to unfold briefly no longer best within India, but in addition to different neighbouring countries in Asia, owing to appropriate climatic stipulations, in line with a pest alert revealed by means of the National Bureau of Agricultural Research, a part of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research.

Dr Martin stated that CIMMYT is amazed at the remarkable luck of wheat programme in Pakistan. Director CIMMYT’s Global Wheat Programme, Hans Braun emphasised the need to be cognisant of securing the centered yield in wheat as the global local weather trade may pose a really perfect challenge and one Celsius drop in temperature all over the evening time would possibly lower seven according to cent of wheat yield, hence with aggregate of clever interventions and good subsidies, huge ends up in meals safety could be achieved.
Mr Mehboob Sultan appreciated the contributions of CIMMYT in Pakistan since the green revolution and stated that the existing government used to be bold for the revival of agriculture and breakthrough in agro-research.

Common Pests and Disease

Pests and Disease


Aphids
These are small brown colored insects. They suck the sap from the leaves and branches and cause great damage to trees and reduction of yield. Aphid attack is severe during Feb and April. Use Dizenon 40% or Eldrine 20%, 1 kg in 450 litres of water. Insecticides should not be applied within 6 weeks of marketing the fruit.

Citrus Leaf Minor:
This attacks the leaves. the attacked leaves become curled and deformed. If causes great losses in growth and yield. Use Malathion 57 or Matasystox 50% at the rate of 500 grams in 450 litres of water per acre for its control.

Lemon Butterfly
This also attacks fresh leaves. It can be controlled effectively by using Malathion and Metasystox.

Citrus Whitefly:
This attacks the fruits and causes great losses in yield and quality. This pest can also be controlled by using Malathion 57%. This should not be applied within 6 weeks of marketing the fruit.

Red Scales:
These are sucking types of insects and cause great damage to Kinnow and sweet oranges in Punjab. They can survive throughout the year. Use Parathion or Malathion at the rate of 752 grams in 450 litres of water per acre for its effective control.

Root Rot:
This is a fungus which attacks the root of the trees. Its attack is severe in poorly drained soils. The affected tree gradually dries up. Remove the soil from around the affected trees without damaging the roots and improve on farm drainage for its effective control.

Withertip:
This disease is caused by nutritional deficiencies. The branches and fruits of the affected trees start drying and the tree becomes uneconomical to maintain. Apply a balanced dose of Bordeaux Mixture 450 after cutting affected branches from the trees.

Citrus Canker:
This is a bacterial disease. It attacks leads and the fruits. It forms canker like spots on the leaves and stems of the fruit causing great reduction in yield and quality of the fruit. There is no effective treatment for this disease except to cut and remove the affected trees and spray Formaldehyde at the spots from where the diseased trees have been removed.

Harvesting:
Picking of citrus fruits is done almost throughout the year. The fruit should be picked when it is fully ripe. It will not develop taste or sugar in storage after picking. The best method is to pick the individual fruit by holding it in one hand and cutting the stalk with a knife and collecting it into boxes or baskets to avoid injury to the stem. The average yield expected from different types of fruits in various species are 500 to 1000 fruit per tree.

Pakistan is blessed with a climate ideally suited to the farming of all kinds of fruits – rich in taste and juicy. Farmers have been developing new varieties of fruit by grafting one exotic variety with other.

Season of Kino in Pakistan starts from December and last till April. Kinnow is very delicious in taste and if treated with proper fungicide and wax and careful handing and storage of Kinnow at about 4 Degree Centigrade can retain it’s freshness until 2 months.

Pakistan is one of the few countries in the world where some of the varieties of fruits grown in cool temperate climate such as apples, pears, plums and cherries while in warm temperate climate such as apricots, grapes, pomegranates and melon and in tropical and subtropical climate such as bananas, mangoes, dates, guava and citrus so the fruits are usually available throughout the year.

Nature has blessed Pakistan with ideal climate for growing a wide range of delicious fruits and large varieties of vegetables. Over the years, Pakistani experts have developed unique stains of exotic fruit varieties unmatched for their rich flavor and taste. From the selection of the finest fruits grown, a reasonable quantity is processed and properly packed for sales and consumption in local market and exporting abroad.

Pakistan exported 268,741 tones of fruits worth US$ 79.83 million during 2000-01, while the export of vegetables stood at $22.50 million. Out of the total exports of fruits and vegetables the share of mangoes was 53,443 tonnes valuing $16.54 million, showing an increase of 43 per cent over the 1999-00.

Agriculture is the main contributor to GDP either directly or indirectly in the form of agro-based industries. The production of fruits and vegetables is not fully utilized and after their domestic consumption a major part is wasted due to lack of infrastructure, storage and processing facilities. The wastage quantity can be utilized by just streamlining and regulating the system from grower to export markets.

Pakistan produces large varieties of mangoes, its production has increased from 908 thousand tonnes in 1995-96 to 937 thousand tonnes in 1999-00. World production of mangoes stood at 19 million tons in 1995, which rose to 23.8 million tonnes in 1999, registering an increase of 24.75 per cent over the five years. Philippines and China have achieved much over 100 per cent increase in mango production during that period. Thailand is another country, which has also registered a significant increase. Rise in Pakistan’s annual mango production during 1995-99 is only 3.4 per cent. Our share in global mango production in 1999 is 3.8 per cent.

Beside mangoes, Pakistani kinoos and apples are also in great demand in the international market. Balochistan produces about 480,000 tones of apples annually but only 3,000 tones were exported last year. About 30 per cent apples wasted every year in Balochistan only. Recently the government has given approval for the establishment of treatment plant in Quetta. While two plants are about to start working in Karachi. It is estimated that after starting of these treatment plants export of apples would be increased to about 20,000 tons per annum. There are good investment opportunities for the private sector to establish processing units near the fruits and vegetable growing areas. This would not only prevent wastage but would also help to earn foreign exchange.

There are also bright prospects for exporting fruit juices and pulps. By establishing modern plants, Pakistan can earn foreign exchange three times more than that being earned by export of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Kinnosw: 
Sunny winters in Pakistan yield a large variety of citrus fruits. The juicy kinno is a unique hybrid of two varieties of California Oranges. It has a soft skin which is easy to peel and has a lovely fragrance.

Pakistan is fortunate in having great diversity in its soil and in its ecological and climatic conditions, ranging from extremely warm to temperate, to very cold. This enables the country to grow many kinds of trees, plants, shrubs, vines and creepers which yield a large variety of fruits and vegetables.

Cotton Pests: Symptoms, Season and Control

Plant protection strategy and activities have significant importance in the overall crop production programmes for sustainable agriculture. Variation of Bt gene expression in different cultivars over time and efficacy to bollworms are the main concern now a days, studies undertaken on Earias spp proved the concerned. Similarly the efficacy of Bt cotton in the field is losing efficacy against the pink bollworm, survey conducted revealed high infestations in green bolls. Monitoring of lepidopterous pest population viz sex pheromone and light traps was carried out and forecast the increasing trend in all bollworms population. Studies on red and dusky cotton bugs continued and efforts are made to find bio agents for long term solutions. Seed treatment effect and development of natural on early and normal planting studies revealed that the population of jassid was more on early sown field than normal sowing also the natural fauna was recorded higher in the early sown.
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The distinct efforts of researchers of the section have proved meaningful in devising pest management strategies against common and new emerging insect pests through application of IPM. Studies are continued on host plant tolerance of CCRI, Multan and National Coordinated Bt. & non-Bt. Strains. The section also studied effect of different IPM strategies on insect pest for transgenic cotton. Screening of new insecticides was also conducted against major insect pests of cotton.

Important pests of cotton:

Name of pest Scientific Name Family Order
Thrips Thrips tabaci Thripidae Thysanoptera
Jassid Amrascadevastans Jassidae Hemiptera
Whitefly Bemisia tabaci Aleyrodidae Homoptera
Mealybug Phenacoccus solenopsis Psuedococcidae Hemiptera
Red Cotton Bug Dysdercus cingulatus Pyrrhocoridae Hemiptera
Dusky Cotton Bug Oxycarenus hyalipennis Lygaeidae Hemiptera
Mites Tetranychustelarius Tetranychidae Acarina
Pink bollworm Pectinophoragossypiella Gelechiidae Lepidoptera
Spotted Bollworm Eariasvittella Noctuidae Lepidoptera
spiny bollworm Eariasinsulana Noctuidae Lepidoptera
American Bollworm Helicoverpa armigera Noctuidae Lepidoptera
Armyworm Spodopteralitura Noctuidae Lepidoptera

 

Symptoms of damage:

Name of pest Symptoms of damage
Thrips Leaves of seedlings become wrinkled and distorted with white shiny patches, older crop presents rusty appearance from a distance.
Jassid Affected leaves curl downwards, turn yellowish, then to brownish before drying and shedding, “hopper burn” stunts young plants.
Whitefly Upward curling of leaves, reduced plant vigour, lint contamination with honey dew and associated fungi, transmission of leaf curl virus disease.
Mealybug The extraction of sap by the mealybug results in the leaves of the plant turning yellow and becoming crinkled or malformed, which leads to loss of plant vigour, foliage and fruit-drop, and potential death of the plant.
Red Cotton Bug Feed on developing and mature seeds, stain the lint to typical yellow colour, reddish nymphs seen in aggregations around developing and open bolls.
Dusky Cotton Bug Associated with ripe seeds, all stages characterized by a powerful smell, discolour the lint if crushed.
Mites The first sign of damage is bronzing of the upper leaf surface near the petiole or leaf fold. As numbers increase, the leaves turn red and become covered in fine webbing, and affected leaves may dry and fall off.
Pink bollworm “Rosetted” bloom pink larvae inside developing bolls with interloculi movement .
Spotted Bollworm Bore mark in main shoot, dried and withered away shoot, twining of main stem due to auxillary monopodia, feeding holes in flower buds and bolls blocked by excrement.
spiny bollworm Bore mark in main shoot, dried and withered away shoot, twining of main stem due to auxillary monopodia, feeding holes in flower buds and bolls blocked by excrement.
American Bollworm Small amount of webbing on small squares injured by young larvae, squares have around hole near the base,larval frass and flaring of bracts on larger squares, clean feeding of internal contents of bolls, excessive shedding of buds and bolls.
Armyworm Young larvae in groups skeletinise leaves and older larvae voraciously defoliate leaves .

 

Seasonal occurrence of cotton pest in Pakistan:

Name of pest Month of attack
Thrips June and July
Jassid July
Whitefly July-September
Mealybug October-November
Red Cotton Bug October-November
Dusky Cotton Bug Though our crop
Pink bollworm August-November
Spotted Bollworm July-September
American Bollworm August-October
Armyworm  

 
List of natural enemies of cotton pest:

Predator/Parasitoid Host Attack Stage
Green lace wings, pirate bugs Lady bird
beetle: Coccinella
septempunctataMenochilus
sexmaculatus, Brumodies sp. , Scymnus
Thrips Nymph and adult
Green lace wings Jassid All stages
Lady bird beetle: Coccinella
septempunctataMenochilus 
sexmaculatus, Brumodies sp. , Scymnus 
Eretnocerus serius
Whitefly Egg and Numph
Lady bird beetle: Coccinella
septempunctataMenochilus 
sexmaculatus, Brumodies sp. , Scymnus , 
aenasius bamby wali.
Mealybug Adult and larvae, adult
Lady bird beetle: Coccinella
septempunctataMenochilus 
sexmaculatus, Brumodies sp. , Scymnus

Shield bug Eucantheconidea furcellata 
Apanteles angaleti 
Elasmus johnstoni
Pink bollworm Larvae
Lady bird beetle: Coccinella 
septempunctataMenochilus 
sexmaculatus, Brumodies sp. , Scymnus
 
Shield bug Eucantheconidea furcellata 
Mirid bug Nesidiocoris tenius
Spider: Oxyopes sp., Clubionia sp., Thomisus sp.
Brachymeria nephantidis
Spotted Bollworm Larvae
Lady bird beetle: Coccinella
septempunctataMenochilus 
sexmaculatus, Brumodies sp. , Scymnus

Shield bug Eucantheconidea furcellata 
Spider: Oxyopes sp., Clubionia sp.,
Thomisus sp.
Trichogramma chilonis
American Bollworm Larvae
Aphidius colemani, Lady bird beetle:
Coccinella septempunctataMenochilus
sexmaculatus, Brumodies sp. , Scymnus
Syrphid fly
Aphid Egg, nymph and adults
Anthocorid bug Orius minutus 
Wasp Eumenes petiolata and Delta sp
Mirid bug Nesidiocoris tenius 
Spider: Oxyopes sp., Clubionia sp.,
Thomisus sp.
Armyworm Larvae

 
Pesticides recommended for cotton pests control under different situations:

Sr.# Pest situation recommended insecticide Dose / acre (ml/gm)
1 Seed treatment to control sucking insect pests at an early stage. Imidacloprid 70 WS 
Thiamethoxam 70 WS*
10 gm/kg seed 
5 gm/kg seed
2 Thrips reached ETL, during early stage of crop and clear damage symptoms are visible. Chlorfenpyr 360SC
Spinetoram 120SC
Spinosad 240 SC
Imidacloprid 200SL
Acetamiprid 20 SP
Formathion 25 EC
Etofenprox 30 EC 
Or Any other suitable registered insecticide
100
50
50
80
50
500
200
3 Whitefly population reached ETL, during early stage of crop. Diafenthiuron 500 SC
Spirotetramate 240 SC
Acetamiprid 20SP
Imidacloprid 200 SL
Buprofezin 20SC
Pyriproxyfen 10.8EC
Any other suitable registered insecticide
200
125
150
250
600
400
4 Jassid population reached ETL, during early stage of crop. Dinotefuran 20SC
Dimethoate 40EC
Imidacloprid 200 SL
Nitenpyram 10 SL
Etofenprox 30 EC
Thiamethoxam 25 WG Or
Any other suitable registered insecticide
100
350
200
200
200
24
5 Whitefly & Jassid collectively reached ETL during early stage of crop. Dinotefuran 20SC
Dimethoate 40EC
Imidacloprid 200 SL
Nitenpyram 10 SL
Etofenprox 30 EC
Thiamethoxam 25 WG
Mix with IGR
Buprfoezin 20SC
Pyriproxyfen 10.8EC
100
350
200
200
200
24 
600
400
6 Pink bollworm reached ETL. Spinosad 240 SC
Spinetoram 120 SC
Spinetoram 250 WG
Gamma Cyhalothrin
Triazophos 40 EC
Bifenthrin 10 EC
Cypermethrin 10 EC
Deltamethrin2.5 EC
Tralomethrin
Fenvalerate 20 EC 
Or
Any other suitable registered insecticide
50
100
40
100
1000
275
333 / 365
300
80
250 / 265
7 Spotted bollworm reached ETL Spinosad 240 SC
Spinetoram 120 SC
Cypermethrin 10 EC
Deltamethrin 2.5 EC
Beta-Cyfluthrin 25 EC
Cyhalothrin 2.5 EC
Fenvalerate 20 EC
Alpha cypermethrin 5 EC
Or
Any other suitable registered insecticide
40
40
300 / 325
333 / 365
250 / 275
333 / 370
400 / 450
440 / 490
8 American bollworm reached ETL at early stage. Spinosad 240 SC
Spinetoram 250 WG
Chlorfenapyr 360 SC
Emamectin Benzoate 1.9 EC
Chlorpyrifos 40 EC
Profenofos 500 EC
Indoxacarb 150 SC
Thiodicarb 80 DF
Or
Any other suitable registered insecticide
100
60
333
200
1000
1000
175
480
9 Aphids reached ETL in later part of the crop life. Carbosulfan20 EC
Diafenthiuron 500 SC
Chlorpyrifos 40 EC
Quinalphos 25 EC 
Or
Any other suitable registered insecticide
500
200
750
1250
10 Mites reached ETL. Spiromesifen 240 SC
Fenpyroxymate 5 SC
Azocyclotin 25 WP
Pyridaben 15 EC
Amitraz 20 EC
Diafenthiuron 500 SC
Ethion 46 EC
Triazophos 40 EC
Chlorfenapyr360 EC
Hexythiazox 10 WP 
Or
Any other suitable registered insecticide
100
200
150
500
1000
200
1000
600
333
220
11 Armyworm attack on cotton.** Methoxyfenozide 240 SC
Lufenuron 50 EC*
Flubendamide 480 SC
Emamectin Benzoate 1.9 EC
Tebufenazide 20
Acephate 75 SP
Indoxacarb 150 SC
Methomyl 42 SP***
Or
Any other suitable registered insecticide
200
200
50
250
350
750
175
500
12 Black headed cricket. Bait
Ingredients:
1. Rice husk (Bhossi) 10 kg/acre
2. Methamidophos½ litre
3. Gur (Molasses) 1 kg
4. Water As per requirement
The formulated material is for one acre.
13 Mealy bug infestation during early stage of crop. Acetamiprid 20 SP
Imidacloprid 200SL
150
250
14 Mealy bug infestation during late stage of crop. Profenofos 50 EC
Methidathion 40 EC
Chlorpyrifos 40 EC
800
400
1000
15 Dusky cotton bug. Fipronil
Clothianidin
Triazophos
Imidacloprid + Fipronil
480
150
660
60
16 Red cotton bug. Fipronil 5 SC
Triazophos 40 EC
Cypermethrin + Chlorpyrifos
Triazophos + Deltamethrin
Imidacloprid + Fipronil
480
660
500
600
60

 

Use of Neem in Pest Control

Neem can be used against the following pests (clicking on underlined pests takes you to pests’ page): African armyworm, African bollwom, Aphids, Banana weevil, Cabbage looper, Cabbage moth, Cabbage webworm, Coconut mite, Cutworms, Diamondback moth, Giant looper

[ads-pullquote-left]Scientific name: Azadirachta indica[/ads-pullquote-left]

The neem tree has over 100 compounds with pesticidal properties. The best known is azadirachtin. This substance is found in all parts of the tree, but it is much more concentrated in the fruit, especially in the seeds.

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Neem is unique among plants with pesticidal properties since it has so many different effects on pests. It acts as a broad-spectrum repellent, insect growth regulator (it causes deformities in the insects’ offspring) and insect poison. It discourages feeding by making plants unpalatable to insects or suppresses the insect’s appetite (anti-feedant effect); if they still attack, it inhibits their ability to moult and lay eggs. Unlike most botanical insecticides, neem also has a somewhat “systemic” effect. This means that plants can take up neem extracts through their roots and leaves, spreading the material throughout the plant tissues. For this reason neem can help control pests like leafminers, which feed within leaves and are normally not affected by sprays that only cover the outer parts of the plant.

Farmers and scientists have also observed a certain preventive effect of neem oil or seed extract against plant diseases such as mildews and rusts.

Neem products are effective against a wide range of pests; about 400 species of crop pests are known to be affected by neem extracts. In spite of its broad-spectrum action, neem products generally, would not harm natural enemies (like wasps, ladybird beetles, spiders, etc.). This is explained by the special mode of action of neem compounds, and by the feeding behaviour of natural enemies as well as the relatively low contact effect of neem products. The degree of effects on natural enemies is largely dependent on the type of formulation, and time, frequency and methods of applications.

Adults of predatory insects are apparently not affected by dosages of neem products recommended for effective pest control. However, their activity, fecundity and longevity may be negatively affected with high dosages. Hoverflies are one of the most sensitive groups to neem applications. Parasitoids are in general less sensitive to neem products than predators. However, especially in very small species of parasitic wasps, treatment of the developmental stages of the host (for instance eggs or puparia of whiteflies) may have negative effects on the emergence rate, walking ability, searching ability, longevity and fecundity of the natural enemy.

In general, neem products based on neem oil or with high oil content have more or stronger side effects on non-target organisms than oil-free preparations. Thus, their application should be avoided or restricted on crops where natural enemies play an important role in pest control.

Some neem products, especially the ones with high oil content, are phytotoxic to some plants, this means plants may be burned when neem extract is used at a high dosage. Therefore, the extracts should be tested on few plants before going into full scale spraying.

Neem based pesticides are suitable for organic farming and for use in developing countries because leaf or seed extracts can easily be prepared without the use of expensive and complicated equipment. However, neem extracts are rapidly ‘destroyed’ when exposed to sunlight (UV, ultra-violet rays), which means they will loose their efficacy. For this reason, commercial products usually contain a sunscreen, which protects the extract from sunlight, allowing a longer exposition to sunlight.

The effect of neem as a pesticide depends on the concentration of the active principles, on the formulation, on the pest type and on the crop.

Neem pesticides can be prepared from the leaves or from the seeds. The leaves or seeds are crushed and steeped in water, alcohol, or other solvents. For some purposes, the resulting extracts can be used without further refinement. Ground neem seeds or neem kernel powder (before or after oil extraction) is used as a soil amendment, and it is effective for control of nematodes. It is also used for control of stalk borers, and to prepare water extracts, which are then sprayed onto plants. See more information on stemborer datasheets

Neem has also been used to protect stored roots as well as tubers against the potato moth. Small amounts of neem powder are said to extend the storage life of potatoes for 3 months. See more information on the potato datasheet

Neem oil, extracted from the seed kernels, gives effective protection to stored beans, cowpeas, and other legumes.

In recent years, there have been a number of studies conducted to investigate the particular effects of neem extracts on malaria-transmitting mosquitoes. There are indications that the most effective way to use neem is to apply seed extract to breeding sites when population numbers are low, during the dry season, in order to eradicate as many immature mosquitoes as possible and reduce the population available for breeding when conditions become more favourable. Once the rainy season commences, regular applications of seed extract should continue to prevent immature mosquitoes from emerging as adults (Gianotti et al. 2008).

Use as an insecticide: The seeds are the primary source of insecticides. They can be used in the form of simple aqueous extracts or as a basic raw material for formulated pesticides. The leaves are also used as simple aqueous (water) extracts.

Use as a nematicide: The neem cake, a by-product of oil extraction from the seeds, worked into the soil has shown to reduce to a considerable extent the reproduction and population density of numerous plant pathogenic nematode species.

Use as a fungicide: One of the latest discoveries is neem’s potential application in the control of fungi that cause diseases to plants. Neem oil based emulsions have proven to be the most effective.

Use as a molluscicide and acaricide (miticide): These pests are only controlled on to a limited extent with neem. Neem showed deterrent effects on land snails. Alcoholic extracts, in particular, have a negative effect on the reproduction of spider mites.

The susceptibility of different groups of pests to neem products is shown in the table below.

Pests  Level of control Recommended neem formulation
Beetle larvae, butterfly and moth caterpillars excellent aqueous neem extracts
     
Stalkborers good aqueous neem extracts and neem cake, neem powder 
True bugs, plant- and leaf- hoppers grasshoppers good neem oil, neem kernel extracts
Grasshoppers good neem oil
Adult beetles good/fair aqueous neem extracts, neem cake powder, leaves, neem oil 
Thrips, fruit flies, scale insects, mealybugs fair/poor neem oil, aqueous neem extracts
Mites fair/poor alcoholic extracts 
Aphids and whiteflies good/fair neem oil
Plant parasitic nematodes good neem cake, neem leaves
 

Standard Procedures for the Preparation and Application of Neem Extracts

Select healthy neem leaves that are free from diseases.
When storing the plant parts for future usage, make sure that they are properly dried and are stored in an airy container (never use plastic container), away from direct sunlight and moisture. Make sure that they are free from moulds before using them.
Use utensils for the extract preparation that are not used for your food preparation drinking and cooking water containers. Clean all the utensils properly before and after use.
Do not have direct contact with the crude extract while in the process of the preparation, and during the application.
Make sure that you place the neem extract out of reach of children and house pets while leaving it overnight.
Harvest all the mature and ripe fruits on the crop to be sprayed before neem application.
Always test the plant extract formulation on a few infested plants first before going into large scale spraying. When adding soap as an emulsifier, use a potash-based one such as gun soap (Kenya).
Wear protective clothing while applying the extract.
Wash your hands after handling the plant extract.

Neem water can be stored and will remain effective for 3 to 6 days if it is kept in the dark.

1. Collect fallen neem fruits from underneath the trees.
2. Remove the flesh from the seeds and wash away any remaining shreds. In some regions in Africa such as the Indian Ocean Coast in Kenya and Tanzania the seeds need not be taken off the tree or pulped when collected, as large colonies of fruit bats pluck the ripe fruit off the tree, during the night, suck off the sweet outer skin and then spit out the seed, which can be found lying under the trees the next morning.
3. Dry the seeds in airy conditions (in sacks or baskets) to avoid formation of mould.
4. When needed, shell the seeds, grate them finely, and soak them overnight in a cloth suspended in a barrel of water. Dosage: 50g of neem powder per litre of water. This solution is then sprayed on infested plants.

Detailed recipe to prepare 10 litres of Neem Seed Kernel Extract (NSKE):

1. Grind 500 grams (g) of neem seed kernels in a mill or pound in a mortar.
2. Mix crushed neem seed with 10 litres of water. It is necessary to use a lot of water because the active ingredients do not dissolve easily. Stir the mixture well.
3. Leave to stand for at least 5 hours in a shady area.
4. Spray the neem water directly onto vegetables using a sprayer or straw brush. Neem water can be stored and will remain effective for 3 to 6 days if it is kept in the dark.

Precautions in using Neem Extracts/Formulations:

1.) Neem is almost non-toxic to mammals and is biodegradable. It is used in India as an ingredient in toothpaste, soap, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and cattle feed. The leaves are used for tea. See datasheet on neem as a medicinal plant for more information. However, the seeds and extracts of both neem and chinaberry trees are poisonous if consumed. Neem trees are very often confused with the Persian lilac or chinaberry tree a relative of neem, which thrives a in high altitudes, whereas neem thrives at low altitudes (up to 1200 m).
2.) Because neem’s chemical structure is so complex (the tree has many different compounds, many functioning quite differently and on different parts of an insect’s life cycle and physiology), scientists believe it will take a long time for insects to develop resistance to it. However, to minimise the chance of affecting beneficials (natural enemies) and discouraging development of pest resistance, use neem sprays only when absolutely necessary, and only on plants you know are affected by pests.
3.) Neem extracts do not kill insect pests immediately. They change the feeding behaviour and life cycle of the pests until they are no longer able to live or reproduce. Effects are often not visible before 10 days after application. Consequently, severe pest attacks will not be controlled within time. For a reliable and satisfying control, neem extracts must be applied at an early stage of pest attack.
4.) Neem products break down fairly quickly, usually within 5 to 7 days in sunlight and in the soil, so you may need to repeat the application during the growing season to deal with new pests that arrive from outside during this time.
5.) Neem works fastest during hot weather. Heavy rains within a few days of application may wash off the protective cover of neem on plants. Reapply if pests are a problem.
6.) If crops have to be watered, water should be targeted to the soil because water running over the leaves of sprayed plants may wash off the neem water extract.

References:

Ellis, B.W. and Bradley, F.M. (1992). The Organic Gardener’s Handbook of Natural Insect and Disease Control. Rodale Press. ISBN:0-87596-753-1
HDRA. Leaflet The Neem tree, see also online under www.gardenorganic.org.uk
Hellpap, C. (1995). Practical results with neem products against insect pests, and probability of development of resistance. Pest of selected field crops. Corn. In The Neem tree- Source of Unique Natural Products for Integrated Pest Management, Medicine, Industry and Other Purposes. Ed. by H. Schmutterer. pp 385-389. ISBN: 3-527-30054-6.
Lemmens, R.H.M.J., Soerianegara, I., Wong, W.C. (1995). Plant resources of Southeast Asia No. 5 (2). Timber trees: minor commercial timbers. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publishers.
Maundu, M. and Tangnas, B. (2005). Useful trees and shrubs for Kenya. World Agroforestry Center.
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Common white or vineyard snail

Cernuella virgata (Da Costa) Eupulmonata:

Hygromiidae

Distribution: European–Mediterranean Basin in origin, now in Australia (Baker 1986), where it occurs in NSW, SA, Tas., Vic. and WA but is most prevalent in SA (Hopkins et al. 2003).

Pest status: Major, restricted, regular.

The shell of the common white snail (shell diameter 15 mm). Note the completely round hole (umbilicus) in the shell on the right.

Identification: The diameter of the shell of a mature snail ranges from 10 to 15 mm. The coiled white shell has a brown band around the spiral in some individuals while others completely lack this banding. The umbilicus is open and circular (Hopkins and Miles 1998). Under magnification, regular straight scratches are visible across the shell.

May be confused with: The white Italian snail, Theba pisana. They can be separated by the differences in the umbilicus and the scratchings/etches on the shell.

Host range: Includes field crops such as wheat, barley, oats, field peas, faba beans, canola and also pastures. It feeds mainly on organic matter on the soil surface but may damage young plants. It is an important pest because it contaminates grain crops at harvest and clogs and damages harvest machinery.

Common white snail aestivating on a fence post

Life cycle on cereals: This species aestivates over summer by climbing on to crop stubble and residues, various weeds and fence posts to avoid high summer temperatures at the soil surface. Autumn rains trigger activity down onto the ground, mating and egg-laying. Most eggs are laid in late autumn or early winter but some egg-laying continues through to early spring. Eggs hatch in about 2 weeks and immature snails grow steadily throughout the winter and spring before they aestivate through the next summer. It can have an annual or biennial life cycle.

Risk period: Cereals, particularly barley, and pulses and canola are susceptible to direct feeding damage shortly after crop emergence in the autumn. The risk of machinery clogging and grain contamination occurs at harvest.

Damage: Moderate to high densities of snails can cause serious defoliation of emerging barley, pulse and canola crops to the point where re-sowing of the worst-affected areas is necessary. At harvest, snails can clog and damage harvest machinery and cause frustrating delays in the harvest period.

They can also contaminate harvested grain samples and lead to the downgrading of grain classification, or total rejection of the contaminated load at the point of delivery.

Monitoring: Successful management depends on regular monitoring of snail numbers across the whole farm. Square sampling quadrats (30 × 30 cm) can be placed on the ground, and snails counted and usually converted to numbers of snails per square metre. It is important to count only live snails; the shells of dead snails persist for many years and should be excluded from the count. As snails often move from adjacent roadside verges, it is important to also monitor these areas to assess the risk of snail movement in adjacent paddocks.

Action level: In cereals, 20 per square metre or more at the time of crop-sowing.

Chemical control: A number of baits are registered for snail control. Controls should be applied prior to or immediately after seeding of cereals. The objective is to control adult snails prior to major egg-laying for the season and prevent major increases in numbers that pose a risk at harvest time later in the season. Use the label rate of bait for moderate snail numbers, but if snail densities exceed 80 per square metre this rate should be increased.

The shell of the white Italian snail (shell diameter 17 mm). Note the hole (umbilicus) in the shell on the right is half closed off.

Cultural control: Stubble management (slashing, rolling or cabling) in January and February is an important control tactic for snails. Snails dislodged from stubble and crop residues onto the soil surface on hot summer days (maximum temperature greater than 35°C) may desiccate and die; snail numbers can be reduced by 50 to 70% using stubble management techniques. Burning stubble residues provides excellent snail control but should only be practiced where the risk of soil erosion is low and when burning is allowed. Burning may reduce snail numbers by up to 99%. Both of these cultural control tactics should be followed with baiting if snail numbers still exceed the established threshold levels.

Host-plant resistance: No host-plant resistance is recorded for cereals or other host plants.

Natural enemies: Apart from some predation by birds and lizards, there are no known natural enemies of the common white snail across

southern Australia.

Project launched to kill fruit fly

MULTAN : The Punjab government has launched a project to kill fruit fly by employing non-traditional techniques under which mango, citrus and guava farmers would get Methyl Eugenol, Protein Hydrolysate, Malathion and Pheromone Traps at subsidised price.

Agriculture spokesman said that farmers should file applications with the office of deputy director (extension) concerned on or before March 22, the last date for filing the applications. He said that orchard owners or fruit farmers of Multan, Rahimyar Khan, Muzaffargarh, Khanewal and Bahawalpur would get pheromone traps and above mentioned chemicals for mango orchards.

Farmers of Sargodha, Mandi Bahauddin, Toba Tek Singh, Sahiwal, and Vehari would get these at subsidised price for citrus while Sheikhupura, Nankana Sahib, Kasur, Faisalabad, and Okara farmers would get these for guava.

He said that owners, contractors or Mazareen of the mango, citrus and guava orchards measuring below twelve (12) acres would get 50 per cent subsidy while those having orchards measuring over twelve (12) acres would avail 30 per cent subsidy. Only one farmer from a family would be allowed to apply.

Applicants must attach copy of their CNICs and documentary proof of their landholding of orchard whether owner, contractor or Mazareen. The applicant would have to give an undertaking that he/she will replace cotton piece from every pheromone trap after every fifteen days. They would also undertake to properly dispose off fallen and rotten fruit .

Those who already availed any such facility at central or provincial level would be ineligible to apply.

Moreover, MNAs, MPAs, senators, their family members, BS-17 and above government employees, employees of revenue and agriculture department are not entitled to apply.

A draw would be held to filter out successful applicants in case of number of applications exceeded the allocation for each district. Draw would be held under the supervision of deputy commissioners concerned in the presence of farmers.

Application forms can be obtained free from the office of deputy director agriculture (extension) or downloaded from ‘www.agripunjab.gov.pk’. Draw would be held on March 30, the release concluded.