On-farm evaluation of inundative biological control of Ostrinia nubilalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) by Trichogramma brassicae (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) in three European maize-producing regions

Jaka Razinger*, Vasileios P. Vasileiadis, Marion Giraud, Willem van Dijk, Špela Modic, Maurizio Sattin, Gregor Urek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: A 2 year study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of biological control with optimally timed Trichogramma brassicae releases as an integrated pest management tool against the European corn borer (ECB), Ostrinia nubilalis (Hübner), in on-farm experiments (i.e. real field conditions) in three European regions with dissimilar geoclimatic conditions and ECB pressure and conventional management (i.e. insecticide treated and untreated). RESULTS: Biological control with Trichogramma (1) provided ECB protection comparable with conventional management, (2) in all cases maintained mycotoxin levels below the EU threshold for maize raw materials destined for food products, (3) was economically sustainable in southern France and northern Italy, but not in Slovenia where it resulted in a significant decrease in gross margin, mainly owing to the cost of Trichogramma product, and (4) enabled avoidance of detrimental environmental effects of lambda-cyhalothrin use in northern Italy. CONCLUSION: Optimally timed mass release of T. brassicae could be considered a sustainable tool for IPM programmes against ECB in southern France and northern Italy. Better involvement of regional advisory services is needed for the successful dissemination and implementation of biological control. Subsidy schemes could also motivate farmers to adopt this IPM tool and compensate for high costs of Trichogramma product.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-254
JournalPest Management Science
Volume72
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Biological control
  • Economic sustainability
  • European corn borer
  • Integrated pest management
  • Mycotoxins
  • Pesticide risk reduction

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