Field performance of soil and spray applications of Chlorantraniliprole® 5 SC against the tobacco budworm on Burley and flue-cured tobacco in Malawi
The tobacco budworm, Heliothis spp., is a devastating pest of tobacco in Malawi. Past experiences and farmer reports have shown that by the time this pest is noticed, considerable damage is already done to tobacco during the early stages of infestation. There is need to manage future infestations better by combining safer and effective measures that can provide early control and detection of the pest.
In recent years, the number of conventional pesticides for budworm control has declined and their use increasingly undesirable due to build-up of resistance, concerns with chemical residues, and environmental contamination. This has pushed the need to diversify strategies to manage pests sustainably. One effort in this direction has been to evaluate effective and safer alternative insecticides that are compatible with Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
Experiments were conducted from 2011-2014 to evaluate the efficacy of a new insecticide, Chlorantraniliprole® 5 SC, with the aim of finding effective and safer alternatives for control of the tobacco budworm. A total of ten insecticides were evaluated in randomised complete blocks and levels of budworm infestation were assessed in each treatment at two, four and six weeks after planting. The results indicated that Chlorantraniliprole® 5 SC applied at planting (40 ml/10 litres – 30 ml/plant) followed by a spray (14 ml/10 litres water) at four weeks after transplanting provided effective budworm control (1%) compared to about 20% infestation in untreated plots. Chlorantraniliprole® 5 SC is a promising alternative for budworm control because it will provide the needed early protection compared to the currently recommended insecticides that are applied after infestation is noticed and without proper scouting, more often than not when it is too late. Chlorantraniliprole® 5 SC, with its long-lasting activity, and selectivity to non-target arthropods makes it an attractive option to growers and an excellent addition to IPM in Malawi.