EFECTIVENESS OF METATROPICO (Metarhizium anisopliae) IN THE INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT OF APHIDS, Aphis gossypii G., IN COTTON CROP
The aphids are a very wide group of insects of Hemiptera order and form the superfamily Aphidoidea, they are specially distributed in hot and temperate zones, identifying some 3.500 species of which 500 are recurrent pests of numerous crops; Aphis gossypii is the most common species in the cotton crop in the world.
At present, the management and control of this pest as well as the white fly has gained interest and importance, specially throughout the introduction of transgenic varieties, which have let free spaces that permit the establishment and rapid colonization of the crops by these pests due to their capability of damage, their high populations and the number of generations that can occur during certain time, which obligate techniques and growers to make two or more applications of chemical insecticides for its control.
As a result of this, formulations of entomopathogen fungi were evaluated within the integrated management program (IPM) of the aphids, looking for alternatives to solve the problem of this pest insect in the cotton crop. Two trials were carried out in two different environments in order to establish the performance of two different doses of METATROPICO: 200 and 800 g commercial product./ha. The evaluated variables were the infestation percentage/plant and the colony percentage/plant; the results were analyzed throughout the variance analysis and posterior estimation of relative efficiency of the treatments.
According to the results of the trials at normal conditions of crop management, it can be concluded that the aphids of the cotton crop (Aphis gossypii) have an abundant and effective fauna and entomofauna that can control the pest within the IPM program; that the use of highly selective entomopathogens as Metarhizium anisopliae promote the establishment of benefitial organisms and increase the aphid control level. Likewise, it can be confirmed that the cost, the management facilities and application and the effectiveness of METATROPICO give an economic and efficient alternative for aphid management in the IPM context.
To conclude, the applications must start with low infestations in order to let the establishment of the fungus before the aphid populations increase to levels of difficult control. In the concept of IPM program of the insect pest it is recommended to establish the viability of the fungus Metarhizium anisopliae (METATROPICO) in mixture with the most used chemicals insecticides to control the insect pest.
The recommended doses for IPM program of the cotton aphids with the commercial product METATROPICO are between 400 y 800 gr./ha, but it is advisable to start at first with the higher dose to reach a rapid establishment of the fungus Metarhizium anisopliae in the field.