Chilli (Capsicum annum L.) an important commercial vegetable crop is ravaged by a number of insect-pests during both vegetative and reproductive phase resulting into significant crop loss.Thrips, Scirtothripsdorsalis, mite, Polyphagotarsonemuslatus and whitefly, Bemisiatabaci are the key sap feeding insects, their infestation leads to leaf curl, stunted growth and yield loss.During flowering and fruit formation stage, gall midge fly, Asphondyliacapparis (Rubsaaman) infesting flower buds and young fruits andHelicoverpaarmigera (Hubner) feeding on matured green fruits are the important insect pests causing significant crop loss.The pest is known to infest both flower buds and young fruits resulting into malformation of flower buds and twisting of fruits.In order to manage these insect-pests a combi product consisting of imidacloprid and betacyfluthrin (Soloman 300 OD) was evaluated for its bio-efficacy, phytotoxicity and effect on predator activity.Imidacloprid, a systemic insecticide belonging to neo-nicotinoid group, is effective against insect pests such as aphids, whiteflies (sap feeders) and other insectsviz., termites and soil insects.Beta-Cyfluthrin is an insecticide of synthetic pyrethroid group which acts by contact action and ingestion. It acts on the insects' nervous system as sodium channel blocker consequently a disorder of the nervous system occurs leading finally to the death. The field experiments were taken up during 2015 and 2016 at the Main Agricultural Research Station of University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad, Karnataka, India.The trials were laid out in a Randomized Block Design (RBD) with three replications using popular land race of Byadagi crop variety.Results indicated that the product at 21.6 + 50.4% gai/ha (240 ml/ha) and 27.9 + 65% gai/ha (310 ml/ha) was found quite effective in controlling thrips (0.00 to 0.66 thrips per six leaves) as against the standard check insecticide recommended for thrips by the University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad wherein the density of thrips recorded was significantly higher (1.00 to 2.00 Nos./6 leaves). Similarly, the test insecticide was quite effective against other target insects, whiteflies, fruit borer and gall midge fly as indicated by lower insect population observed in the treatments as compared to standard insecticidal control. The predatory beetle activity was found to be normal in all experimental plots. Highest green fruit yield of 5100-5500 kg/ha was recorded in Soloman 300 OD applied crop at 310 ml/ha rate as compared to 4750 to 5050 kg/ha recorded in check. At present 6-8 sprays of insecticides are recommended for management of these insect-pests on the crop. If combi-products are used in pest management programmes, it is possible to reduce insecticide usages in crop ecosystem.
Organic cultivation of crops is gaining importance consumer awareness towards pesticide residue free foodstuffs is increasing globally. This is also because of high costs of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, making the conventional farming non-remunerative. In India, organic manures (such as vermicompost) are an important input in organic agriculture. Though vermicompost obtained through earthworm and microbe-mediated processes is known to comprise most of the crop nutrients, but they are in small amounts thus necessitating enrichment of nutrients so that crop nourishment is complete. Another characteristic of organic manures is that the pest infestations are kept under check due to induced resistance put up by the crop plants. In the present investigation, deoiled neem cake containing azadirachtin, copper ore tailings (COT), a source of micro-nutrients and microbial consortia were added for enrichment of vermicompost. Neem cake is a by-product obtained during the process of oil extraction from neem plant seeds. Three enriched vermicompost blends were prepared using vermicompost (at 70, 65 and 60%), deoiled neem cake (25, 30 and 35%), microbial consortia and COTwastes (5%). Enriched vermicompost was thoroughly mixed, moistened (25+5%), packed and incubated for 15 days at room temperature. In the crop response studies, the field trials on chili (Capsicum annum var. longum) and soybean, (Glycine max cv JS 335) were conducted during Kharif 2015 at the Main Agricultural Research Station, UAS, Dharwad-Karnataka, India. The vermicompost blend enriched with neem cake (known to possess higher amounts of nutrients) and vermicompost were applied to the crops and at two dosages and at two intervals of crop cycle (at sowing and 30 days after sowing) as per the treatment plan along with 50% recommended dose of fertilizer (RDF). 10 plants selected randomly in each plot were studied for pest density and plant damage. At maturity, crops were harvested, and the yields were recorded as per the treatments, and the data were analyzed using appropriate statistical tools and procedures. In the crops, chili and soybean, crop nourishment with neem enriched vermicompost reduced insect density and plant damage significantly compared to other treatments. These treatments registered as much yield (16.7 to 19.9 q/ha) as that realized in conventional chemical control (18.2 q/ha) in soybean, while 72 to 77 q/ha of green chili was harvested in the same treatments, being comparable to the chemical control (74 q/ha). The yield superiority of the treatments was of the order neem enriched vermicompost>conventional chemical control>neem cake>vermicompost>untreated control. The significant features of the result are that it reduces use of inorganic manures by 50% and synthetic chemical insecticides by 100%.