Jeff C. Ebio
Farmers sure aim to have abundant and healthy agricultural produce but that became so elusive as the prevalence of disease-causing fungi or bacteria and defective planting materials remain a challenge.
To cease all these through a necessary and effective pest management and disease control schema must be utilized. Using chemical pesticide would be a usual resort though as it brings forth more serious environmental and human hazards from its residue and its component’s biological risks, it should rather be not the first or only choice.
There comes biological control. It is the use of naturally occurring organisms to suppress crop pests. These organisms are referred to as antagonists. It has less environmental and biological backlash as no chemical is involved.
Trichoderma is an example of an antagonist. It is a free-living fungus, commonly involved in root, soil and foliar environment which releases compounds that are essential in inducing localized or systemic resistance responses in plants. To test its efficacy to kill pathogens this experiment was conducted. Trichogramma is another natural enemy. It is an egg which parasitizes many pests commonly lepidopterous by killing them before they do the harm to the crop. It is augmented or release in the field. Agumentation can be carried out by inundative releases or inoculative releases.
The inundative approach is achieved by flooding the crop with multiple releases of insectary-reared natural enemies. The released insects control pests present at the time, but there is little expectation that later generations will persist at sufficient levels to provide control. This approach requires a large number of the natural enemies at the precise time when pest eggs are present and crop and weather conditions are conducive to the release. Correct timing requires good coordination between
References: “What is Biological Control”. Cornell University, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Department of Entomology. Web. March 8, 2014. Fresco, Mary Charlotte. “Dump that Damping Off”. Bureau of Agricultural Research. Web. March 8, 2014. Knutson, Allen. “The Trichogramma Manual”. Texas Agricultural Extension Service. Web. March 14, 2014 Ranasingh N., A. Saurabh, and M. Nedunchezhiyan. “Use of Trichoderma in Disease Management”. Orissa Review. September-October 2006. Web. March 8, 2014.