Wireworms, the larvae of elaterid beetles, belong to the most important pests of the Swiss potato production. Chemical control is much contested. Therefore, it is strongly desired to develop a biological control method. The entomopathogenic soil fungus Metarhizium anisopliae seems to be a good candidate. In order to get information on the distribution of this fungus in arable land 30 fields, which are part of a project on potato quality, were selected to be analyzed for presence and density of M. anisopliae. 10 fields each belonged to the three different production systems «organic farming», «integrated production» and «production with ecological requirements». Furthermore, the data were compared with data on crop rotation (two years sawn meadow before potato versus arable crop) and pesticide use.The data revealed that M. anisopliae was present in all fields. No differences were found between the three production systems in regard to fungus density and fungus presence in the soil samples. Furthermore, no influence of the crop rotation or of the pesticide use was found. It is assumed that M. anisopliae is able to resist the applied agricultural practices or to recover rapidly. These characteristics make this fungus to a suitable candidate for wireworm control.
Stucky T., Hochstrasser M., Meyer S., Segessemann T., Ruthes A. C., Ahrens C. H., Dahlin P., Pelludat C.
The root knot nematode (RKN) Meloidogyne incognita causes damage in field and greenhouse crops. Agroscope researchers have developed a new screening test to identify bacteria that antagonise this agricultural pest.
With CULTAN fertilisation, nitrogen is injected into the soil as an ammonium solution. Multi-year trials conducted by Agroscope show that this method reduces nitrogen leaching by an average 38% without negatively affecting yields.
Tuta absoluta is one of the most destructive pests of solanaceous crops. Agroscope has developed a statistical model to study the population dynamics of the pest and its parasitoids and allows interventions to be optimally planned.