Improvement of the chemical control of the soybean looper using the direct spray in peanut


University of Florida

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Southeast (GA, FL, AL)

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de Paula-Moraes

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Soybean looper is an economic pest in southern states and is a difficult insect to be controlled and frequently, the occurrence of insecticide resistance has been reported as the explanation for the field failure control. However, another aspect that can compromise the efficacy of control is the movement behavior of the caterpillars of soybean looper in peanut plant. The caterpillars move around the plant and a significant number of them feed and hold tenaciously in the bottom of the canopy, on the leaf underside. The spray coverage should be considered a key point when managing this species with chemical control and the insecticide should reach and cover not only the top of the canopy. A precision application method using a directed spray with a 'vine-spreader' has been designed to control white mold disease. The peanut canopy moves, and the fungicide spray directly reaches the crown. Preliminary results have indicated a better white mold control than overhead application. This direct spray could also be an option for the control of soybean looper, providing a better spray coverage of the bottom of the canopy. The overall goal of this work was to improve the chemical control of the soybean looper in peanut by directing the spray to the target area, decreasing the number of insecticide applications and the selection pressure for insect resistance. 

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