Guru GyaanAgroStar Agronomy Centre of Excellence
Before castor semilooper takes on havoc; get up and take actions
• Castor crop is being cultivated as sole or intercrop with groundnut or cotton under irrigated or rain-fed conditions. • In addition to the sucking pests, castor semilooper and leaf eating caterpillars damage the crop at vegetative stage. • Different spots/stripes are observed on the larval body and it makes a semi-loop while crawling and hence, it’s known as “Semilooper”. • Infestation is generally higher during September and October. • Feeding starts from the border of the leaves and extent inward is the typical characteristics. • Small caterpillars scrape the epidermal layer of leaves while bigger once; feed voraciously on leaves and defoliate; leaving behind only midribs, petioles, branches and stem. • Due to its voracious feeding behavior, sometimes they also feed on spikes and capsules at later crop stages. • In summer, they survive on Ber tree leaves. • The adults of this caterpillar suck the juice from the various citrus fruits. • The incidence is generally very low on crop sown after 15th August. • Install one light trap to attract the adult moths. • The effect of insecticide is generally very low on bigger caterpillars and hence; collecting & destroying them mechanically (hand picking & killing) is the best solution. • If available, release Telenomus or Trichogramma; egg parasitoids in the field periodically. • Spray Bacillus thuringiensis, a bacterial base powder @ 1-1.5 kg per hectare. • Predatory birds collect and feed on the larvae and act as an example for natural control of this pest. • To attract the predatory birds; install bird perches @ 30-40 per hectare. • On initiation, spray neem seed kernel suspension @ 5% (500 g per 10 lit of water) or neem leaf extract @ 10% concentration or ready to use neem based pesticides @ 20 ml (1% EC) to 40 ml (0.15% EC) per 10 lit of water. • Apply insecticides only at ETL i.e. 4 or more than 4 larvae observed on one plant. • As per the recent recommendation of Junagadh Agril. Uni., spray chlorantraniliprole 18.5 SC @ 3 ml or indoxacarb 14.5 SC @ 5 ml or spinosad 45 SC @ 3 ml or emamectin benzoate 5 WG @ 4 g per 10 lit of water; two times, first on initiation and second after 15 days of first spray.
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