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Management of Mealybug (Rhizoecus Amorphophalli) in Elephant Foot Yam (AMORPHOPHALLUS PAEONIIFOLIUS)

Management of Mealybug (Rhizoecus Amorphophalli) in Elephant Foot Yam (AMORPHOPHALLUS PAEONIIFOLIUS)

Experimental Agriculture 47(4): 717-728

Amorphophallus paeoniifolius, popularly known as elephant foot yam, is an important tropical tuber crop in India. Its modified stem (corm) is consumed as a vegetable after boiling, baking or frying. Mealybug (Rhizoecus amorphophalli), a soft-bodied insect, infests the corms both in storage and in the field. Though pesticides are effective in controlling mealybugs, they can be hazardous to human health and the environment. Two experiments, one in storage followed by one in the field, were conducted during 2009 and 2010 at the Regional Centre of Central Tuber Crops Research Institute, Dumuduma, Bhubaneswar, India, to determine the effect of six low cost and environmentally safe management practices on mealybug. In the absence of mealybug control measures, mealybug numbers increased by 4-5 times during the storage period. The pest affected the quality of the corms and reduced subsequent field establishment and crop growth. Salt (NaCl) solution (1000 ppm), cow urine, cow dung slurry (2 kg of cow dung in 1 litre of water) and clay slurry (1 kg of clay in 1 litre of water) treatments were effective in reducing mealybug numbers and the associated corm damage. However, availability of cow urine, cow dung and clay slurry limit their usage. Common salt is cheap, widely available and easy to use in treating the corms prior to storage. Relative to untreated corms, those treated with salt solution recorded greater emergence when field planted as well as producing plants with more vigorous growth.

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Accession: 066253337

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DOI: 10.1017/S0014479711000500

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