Effectiveness of Trichogramma pretiosum in controlling lepidopterous pests of soybean crops
Keywords:egg parasitoid, inundative biological control, Anticarsia gemmatalis, Rachiplusia nu, cloth method
Controlling lepidopteran pests in soybean in Uruguay usually involves the application of chemical insecticides with risks to health and the environment. As part of an inundative biological control program using Trichogramma pretiosum, a plot trial at three sites located in the department of Soriano (Uruguay), in the 2019-2020 growing season, compared this conventional practice with different doses of the egg parasitoid, number of release capsules per hectare, different number of releases in the culture cycle and ground and aerial releases (with or without release capsules). Using the cloth method, the number of larvae per linear meter and the defoliation percentage were evaluated over 6 weekly samplings. Although the best results were obtained with the application of chemical insecticides, two releases of T. pretiosum by terrestrial methods, 20 days apart, or 4 weekly applications by means of a drone, reached the best results below the thresholds of sanitary intervention, both options with 200,000 parasitoids per hectare. This biological tool can differentiate and value Uruguayan agricultural production.