IN PRAISE OF BPI CROP PROTECTION UNIT: They Control Pests With Trichogramma, Sans Chemicals

WE GOT a message from our friend Pat Dugan who has a farm in Rosario, Batangas. He is commending the Crop Protection Unit of the Bureau of Plant Industry for the excellent help they are providing to corn and eggplant farmers in Barangay Masaya, Rosario, Batantas.

The staff of the unit are producing regular supplies of two Trichograma species, one for corn and the other for vegetables such as eggplant. Use of this biological control technique has made it possible to produce good harvests without resorting to expensive (and possibly harmful) chemicals, Pat wrote.

Well, Trichogramma is a small winged wasp that deposits its eggs inside the eggs of other insects that are destructive to crops like armyworm, corn borer, corn earworm, tomato hornworm, etc. When the egg of the Trichogramma hatches, its larva consumes the egg of the harmful insects. Thus, the pest is controlled before it becomes a larva that damages the plants.We also saw a Trichogramma species that is being used to parasitize pests of sugarcane. The larva of the Trichogramma will eventually become an adult that will again parasitize the eggs of harmful insects. The Trichogramma wasp, by the way, does not damage crops.

Well, thanks Pat for the information. Maybe more people would like to avail themselves of Trichogramma for the control of crop pests in their farms.

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