Biocontrol in organic citrus groves: Aonidiella aurantii/Aphytis and Planococcus citri/Cryptolaemus (BIOFRUITNET Video)

Aonidiella aurantii and Planococcus citri are two important pests in citrus groves.

It is possible to keep these pests under control thanks to biocontrol methods using the useful insects - Aphytis melinus and Cryptolaemus montrouzieri.

Organic advisor Francesco Ancona explains different methods on how to deal with the pests in organic fruit growing and what to look out for.

The potential of biofumigation to control soil borne pests, pathogens and weeds

Soil-borne pests and pathogens can bring major constraints to crop production and their suppression often relies on synthetic chemicals that can be ineffective and/or expensive. A crop protection approach with broad efficacy and applicability for a wide range of crops and agronomic situations is needed. A group of UK growers who have been using and developing biofumigation and two industry experts in the field have explored the practicalities of applying the technique.

Agroecological crop protection for sustainable agriculture

Crop losses from pests threaten global food security and safety. In the last six decades, pest control using chemical pesticides has resulted in important yield gains per unit area, worldwide. However, the long-term sustainability of chemical pest control has been increasingly thrown into doubt due to the negative impact on human health, biodiversity, and the environment.

Vibrational communication and mating behavior of the greenhouse whitefly Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Westwood) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae)

The greenhouse whitefly (GW), Trialeurodes vaporariorum is considered one of the most harmful insect pests in greenhouses worldwide. The GW mating behavior has been partially investigated and its vibrational communication is only in part known. A deeper knowledge of its intraspecific communication is required to evaluate the applicability of control methods based on techniques of behavioral manipulation.

Organic management promotes natural pest control through altered plant resistance to insects

The study is published on Nature Plants.  Reduced insect pest populations found on long-term organic farms have mostly been attributed to increased biodiversity and abundance of beneficial predators, as well as to changes in plant nutrient content. However, the role of plant resistance has largely been ignored. Here, we determine whether host plant resistance mediates decreased pest populations in organic sys-tems and identify potential underpinning mechanisms.