49 research outputs found

    Insect infestation sources in stored maize grain; what is more important resident versus incoming infestation?

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    Most studies targeted pest control inside stores; incognisant of the population dynamics in the store vicinity; leading to product re-infestation. Distinction between storage insect pest source and sink grain patches is important for effective pest management strategies. We examined the role of resident versus incoming insect infestation in phosphine-fumigated closed or open and unfumigated closed or open maize farm stores. Grain quality measurements were recorded over 32 weeks for two storage seasons. Whether open or closed, fumigated grain had significantly lower (p < 0.001) grain damage and lower grain weight loss (p < 0.05) than unfumigated grain. Fumigated open stores had significantly higher (p= 0.004) grain damage and weight loss than closed ones. Grain damage was higher in unfumigated-closed than fumigated-open, evidence that resident infestation inflicted higher food loss than incoming infestation. Prostephanus truncatus, Cryptolestes ferrugineus and Tribolium castaneum had significantly higher populations (p < 0.001, p = 0.018 and p = 0.001; respectively) at bottom levels of unfumigated and fumigated grain (T. castaneum). Sitotroga cerealella and Sitophilus zeamais were significantly higher (p < 0.001) at the top of closed than open unfumigated compartments. Grain suffers less infestation and quality loss when it is a sink patch than when it is a source patch. Population build-up and ‘settling’ to inflict significant food loss takes longer for incoming compared to resident infestation. These results have ecological implications on postharvest IPM.Most studies targeted pest control inside stores; incognisant of the population dynamics in the store vicinity; leading to product re-infestation. Distinction between storage insect pest source and sink grain patches is important for effective pest management strategies. We examined the role of resident versus incoming insect infestation in phosphine-fumigated closed or open and unfumigated closed or open maize farm stores. Grain quality measurements were recorded over 32 weeks for two storage seasons. Whether open or closed, fumigated grain had significantly lower (p < 0.001) grain damage and lower grain weight loss (p < 0.05) than unfumigated grain. Fumigated open stores had significantly higher (p= 0.004) grain damage and weight loss than closed ones. Grain damage was higher in unfumigated-closed than fumigated-open, evidence that resident infestation inflicted higher food loss than incoming infestation. Prostephanus truncatus, Cryptolestes ferrugineus and Tribolium castaneum had significantly higher populations (p < 0.001, p = 0.018 and p = 0.001; respectively) at bottom levels of unfumigated and fumigated grain (T. castaneum). Sitotroga cerealella and Sitophilus zeamais were significantly higher (p < 0.001) at the top of closed than open unfumigated compartments. Grain suffers less infestation and quality loss when it is a sink patch than when it is a source patch. Population build-up and ‘settling’ to inflict significant food loss takes longer for incoming compared to resident infestation. These results have ecological implications on postharvest IPM

    Sitotroga cerealella (Olivier) resilience to extreme temperature and desiccation may explain its increasing pest status in changing climates: Poster

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    The mechanisms underlying Sitotroga cerealella survival under variable and increasing mean thermal and desiccation environments typical under global change is currently unknown. To understand how S. cerealella survives extreme abiotic stressors typical of stored-grain environments, we measured S. cerealella tolerance temperature and desiccation. The results showed that to survive desiccating grain storage environments, S. cerealella relied more on high body water content (BWC) (70.2 ± 3.72%) compared to lipid reserves (9.8± 0.81%). In desiccating environment, S. cerealella showed a reduced water loss rate (0.056mg/h) (equivalent of 1.81% of body water/hour) which would require 19.31 h to reduce the insect body water to its critical minimum (35.23% body water content at death), which is 50.20% of normal initial body water. Similarly S. cerealella exhibited high basal heat tolerance with critical thermal maximum of 46.09 ± 1.042°C and a heat knockdown time of 7.97 ± 1.64 minutes. Basal cold tolerance was relatively compromised (critical thermal minima of 4.52 ± 1.06°C and chill coma recovery time of 5.80 ±1.17 minutes), following 1h at 0°C. We found no significant correlation (P > 0.001) between BWC and the measured thermal tolerance traits. Low water loss rates reported here may be an evolutionary resistance mechanism for desiccation tolerance. Observed abiotic stress tolerance may explain the ubiquitous distribution of S. cerealella in Africa which is likely to enhance its survival and increase its pest status under global change.The mechanisms underlying Sitotroga cerealella survival under variable and increasing mean thermal and desiccation environments typical under global change is currently unknown. To understand how S. cerealella survives extreme abiotic stressors typical of stored-grain environments, we measured S. cerealella tolerance temperature and desiccation. The results showed that to survive desiccating grain storage environments, S. cerealella relied more on high body water content (BWC) (70.2 ± 3.72%) compared to lipid reserves (9.8± 0.81%). In desiccating environment, S. cerealella showed a reduced water loss rate (0.056mg/h) (equivalent of 1.81% of body water/hour) which would require 19.31 h to reduce the insect body water to its critical minimum (35.23% body water content at death), which is 50.20% of normal initial body water. Similarly S. cerealella exhibited high basal heat tolerance with critical thermal maximum of 46.09 ± 1.042°C and a heat knockdown time of 7.97 ± 1.64 minutes. Basal cold tolerance was relatively compromised (critical thermal minima of 4.52 ± 1.06°C and chill coma recovery time of 5.80 ±1.17 minutes), following 1h at 0°C. We found no significant correlation (P > 0.001) between BWC and the measured thermal tolerance traits. Low water loss rates reported here may be an evolutionary resistance mechanism for desiccation tolerance. Observed abiotic stress tolerance may explain the ubiquitous distribution of S. cerealella in Africa which is likely to enhance its survival and increase its pest status under global change

    Postharvest orange losses and small-scale farmers’ perceptions on the loss causes in the fruit value chain: a case study of Rusitu Valley, Zimbabwe

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    Surveys were conducted in Rusitu Valley , Chimanimani district of Zimbabwe between 2011 and 2012 to determine orange losses and farmers’ perceptions on the sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) supply value chain. The following data were collected using interviewer-administered Likert type questionnaires and informal interviews: orchard management practices, pest infestation, fruit handling activities, and marketing practices through. The study sample of 240 respondents was derived from two randomly selected villages in each of the four administrative wards with significant sweet orange production. The study revealed that on average a small-scale farmer in Rusitu Valley owns about 4047 m2 (one acre) orchard with an average of 55 orange trees and that a farmer harvested 1 200 kg of oranges per tree which converts to a total of 66 000 kg of orange produce per season. The study revealed that on average a farmer lost 480 kg of oranges per tree which converts to 26 400 kg per farmer or 40% loss per farmer during the season. Based on the total number of orange farmers in Rusitu Valley, the total loss translates to 89,529,600 kg. About 54% of respondents perceived that the major postharvest losses were a result of fruit fly attack while 36% linked these losses to red weaver ants (Oecophylla spp.). Trapping using a mixture of methyl eugenol and malathion during the same season positively identified the African invader fly, Bactrocera invadens. Unavailability of appropriate storage and transport facilities were the contributing factors to major postharvest losses. Citrus production extension package with an emphasis on the control of insect pests and sustainable postharvest management should be developed to improve the capacity of the small-scale farmers in Rusitu Valley. Keywords: Small-scale farmers, postharvest losses, pests and diseases, fruit value chai

    Blanket application rates for synthetic grain protectants across agro-climatic zones: Do they work? Evidence from field efficacy trials using sorghum grain

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    Many smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa rely on synthetic pesticides for protecting stored-grain. Recommendations on use of these grain protectants are typically based on “blanket” application rates which are fixed rates that are not varied according to grain type, pest range or agro-climatic regions. There are numerous anecdotal reports of storage pesticide failure or reduced efficacy from farmers. Might rising global temperatures be a contributory factor? Smallholder farmers are responding by over-applying pesticides, increasing the application frequency or switching to non-recommended pesticides; leading to a pesticide treadmill. Trials to determine the efficacy and persistence of five commercially-available synthetic pesticides applied at manufacturer's recommended rates on stored sorghum grain under contrasting climatic conditions were conducted in Mbire (mean temperatures of 32–42°C and 30–50% rh) and Harare (18–32°C; 42–75% rh) districts in Zimbabwe. Grain samples were collected at 8-week intervals throughout a 10 month period in the 2014/15 and 2015/16 storage seasons. The samples were analyzed for insect grain damage, weight loss, total number of storage insects by species and grain moisture content. Results showed significant differences in the performance of treatments (p<0.001). Grain damage was consistently higher in Harare than in Mbire. Tribolium castaneum was the dominant pest in Mbire, while Sitotroga cerealella and Sitophilus oryzae were dominant in Harare. Tribolium castaneum populations were high in the Shumba Super dust⁠® (fenitrothion 1%+deltamethrin 0.13%) treatment in Mbire, while S. cerealella was dominant in Super guard⁠® (pirimiphos-methyl 1.6%+permethrin 0.4%) and Actellic Gold dust⁠® (pirimiphos-methyl 1.6%+thiamethoxam 0.36%) treated grain in Harare. Grain moisture content varied with ambient conditions, and was high in treatments with high insect pest levels. The results show that differences in climatic conditions influence insect pest species dynamics and response to pesticide treatments. Storage pesticides are not equally effective across different climatic conditions; thus more context-specific application recommendations are required
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