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Pigeonpea Podborer and its management

Pigeonpea is an important pulse crop grown across India with average productivity of 8-10 Quintals/acre. One of the main reasons for yield reduction is due to Podborer complex damage caused by pod borers like Helicoverpa armigera, Podfly, Melanagromyza obtusa, Spotted pod borer, and Maruca vitrata. The yield loss due to the pod borer complex goes up to 100% in extreme situations. Among these pod borers, Helicoverpa armigera is the most severe and common pest.

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Helicoverpa armigera moth has a “V” shaped speck on light brownish forewings and a dark border on hind wings. Mother moth lays spherical, yellowish eggs singly on tender parts of the plants. The larva is greenish with dark grey lines laterally on the body. Pupation takes place in the soil.

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While feeding, the larva thrusts its head inside the pod leaving the rest of its body outside. A single larva destroys 30-40 pods before maturity. Damaged pods show entry holes. The pest completes its life cycle in 28-35 days. The pest completes 8 generations per year.

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IPM Strategies

IPM Strategies

• Deep plowing to expose pupae to the hot sun and natural enemies before sowing. • Intercropping with Jowar, Bajra, Foxtail millet, or Sesame. • Place Pheromone traps with the lure at the rate of 2-3/acre, at 30 meters distance to attract male moths from September to January months, which helps to monitor pest activity. (Economic Threshold level is 10 Moths/trap/day). • Erect cut branches of trees should be placed in the field as bird perches (6’-7’ feet height) at 8/acre. • At 25-50% flowering stage, if 2 eggs or larva per plant are seen, then spray with insecticides having ovicidal action like Methomyl 50 SP as the first spray. • Second spray with 5% Neem Seed Kernel Extract. If neem seeds are not available, then use anyone neem-based insecticide @ 2 ml/lit of water. • Third, spray with Nuclear polyhedrosis virus for Helicoverpa armigera (HaNPV) @ 100 Larval Equivalent /acre (0.75 ml/lit of water) along with 250 gm robin blue powder + 1250 gm Jaggery. It is better to spray either in the morning or evening hours. • Fourth spray can be done with insecticides like Indoxacarb 14.5 SC or Spinosad 45 SC or Novoluron 10 EC at recommended doses.• If necessary, the fifth spray may be given with Alphamethrin 10 EC or Fenvalevate 20 EC at recommended doses. • Use insecticides alternatively to prevent resistance development.

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