Agriculture and Farming Technology Updates

Bio-Pesticides crucial for sustainable agriculture

With the help of organic pesticides, the enemies of the crop are eliminated, along with environmental protection.

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Farmers have to use pesticides to increase their farm income. With the progress of science, many chemical pesticides were also developed. But over a while, it has been proved that toxic chemical pesticides had more side effects on the soil of the farm, the quality of the produce, the environment, and human health than the relief given to the crop. The main reason for this was that farmers used chemical pesticides indiscriminately rather than in a balanced manner.

Freedom from toxic chemicals is possible only when its practical alternative is easily available to the farmers. Considering this fact, scientists of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research have developed many organic pesticides. They have the qualities of ‘Ek Sadhe Sab Sadhe’. Organic pesticides do not have any harmful effect on human beings, soil, yield, and environment and also effectively prevent enemy pests and diseases of the crop.

Organic pesticides originated from the inspiration of nature’s amazing ‘food cycle,’ i.e., the food chain. In nature’s food cycle, apart from humans, the king of the jungle, i.e., lion, tiger, cheetah, etc., are at the top. These are such creatures that do not become food for any other creature. The remaining millions and millions of different types of animals become food for one or the other. Keeping this principle in mind, scientists identify such creatures as organic pesticides, which make their food the real element of pests and diseases that attack crops. The presented article contains brief and useful information about six major organic pesticides. It is expected that efforts will be made by the farmers to adopt more and more organic pesticides.

1. Trichoderma

Trichoderma is a fungicide readily available in formulations of 1% WP and 2% WP. The specialty of the fungus fibers of Trichoderma is that they start sucking the juice of the harmful fungi by going inside or staying on the fibers of the harmful fungi that harm the crops. They also release a specific chemical that protects them from harmful fungi by forming a protective wall around the seeds. Trichoderma is also responsible for the good germination of seeds. That’s why chemical products should not be used before or after use. It proves very effective in diseases like root-rot and stem-rot and scorching in crops, fruits, and vegetables like paddy, cotton, wheat, sugarcane, papaya, potato, etc.

Method of use: For seed treatment with Trichoderma, it should be sown by taking 4 grams of it per kilogram of seed after treating it. While preparing the plant, it should be used after making a solution of 5 grams per liter of water and immersing the root after purifying or treating it. To treat soil with Trichoderma, it should be mixed with 70 to 80 kg of cow dung at the rate of 2.5 kg per hectare, dried in shade for about 10 days with sufficient moisture, and used at the last plowing before sowing. For the control of fungal diseases in the crop, at the rate of 2.5 kg per hectare solution in about 500 liters of water should be sprayed at an interval of 15 days as per requirement.

Bio-Pesticides
Bio-Pesticides. Image Credit: kvknorthgoa

2. Pseudomonas

Pseudomonas is a bacteria-based fungicide and bactericide. It is mainly available in the market in 0.5 WP formulation. No chemical bactericide should be used on the crop after 15 days of its use. Very effective for the control of bacterial and fungal diseases of different types of crops like root and stem rot, wilt, red rot of sugarcane, bacterial blight etc. It is mainly used in seed treatment and control of various plant diseases.

Method of use: Mixing 10 grams of it in 15 to 20 milliliters of water is used to treat seeds from Pseudomonas. This quantity of prepared solution is sufficient to treat one kilogram of seed. Treated seeds should be dried in shade and used. To treat plants from Pseudomonas, 50 grams of it should be mixed in one liter of water and used. This solution can also be used for spraying, so that diseases related to soil can also be protected.

Bio-Pesticides
Bio-Pesticides. Image Credit: kvknorthgoa

3. Beauveria bassiana

Beauveria bassiana is a kind of fungus based organic insecticide. It prevents pests like fruit borer, sucking pest, termite, white girder and leaf-wrapper in various crops. Beauveria bassiana proves to be highly effective when there is more moisture and heat in the environment. It is available in the market in formulations of 1% WP and 1.15% WP.

Method of use: To treat the soil with Beauveria bassiana, 2.5 kg of it mixed with 70 to 80 kg of cow dung manure is used at the rate of per hectare. Apart from this, to prevent pests in the standing crop, its 2.5 kg quantity can be sprayed with about 400 to 500 liters of water at the rate of one hectare.

Bio-Pesticides
Bio-Pesticides. Image Credit: kvknorthgoa

4. Metarhizium anisopliae

Metarhizium anisopliae is also a fungal based organic insecticide. It is available in the market with 1.15 percent and 1.5 percent WP formulations. It is very effective in providing protection against fruit wrapper, white hopper, pod borer, sap sucking insect and many other soil-dwelling insects. No chemical insecticide should be used 15 days before and after its use.

Method of use: Like Beauveria bassiana, 2.5 kg of Metarhizium anisopli should be mixed with 70 to 80 kg of cow dung manure and used at the rate of per hectare. Spraying Metarhizium anisopli in the standing crop by dissolving 2.5 kg in 400 to 500 liters of water at an interval of 15 days in the evening as per requirement, also proves to be very effective.

Bio-Pesticides
Bio-Pesticides. Image Credit: ICAR

5. Bacillus thuringiensis

Bacillus thuringiensis, is a germ-based biological insecticide. These prove to be extremely beneficial in the prevention of insects of the Lepidoptera family, such as pod borer, leaf-eating insects and leaf-wrapping insects in vegetables, crops and fruits. No chemical insecticide should be used for 15 days before or after the use of this biological insecticide. Bacillus thuringiensis has a shelf life of up to one year, which means it remains effective for a year from the time of production.

Method of use: By making a solution of 0.5 grams to 1.0 kg of organic insecticide Bacillus thuringiensis in 400 to 500 liters of water, it should be sprayed at an interval of 15 days in the evening at the rate of per hectare.

6. Nuclear Polyhedrosis Virus (NPV)

Nuclear Polyhedrosis Virus i.e NPV, is a virus based biological insecticide. It is especially used to control various types of caterpillars. NPV proves to be a very powerful biological insecticide in the control of bollworm in gram and tobacco crops. But it has a limitation that only NPV prepared from gram bollworm is effective on gram attacking bollworm while NPV prepared from tobacco bollworm also proves to be effective to control the same bollworm.

The NPV formed by its own larva starts feeding on the harmful leaves and pods and after some time turns yellow and finally turns black. There is a special type of chemical liquid inside it, from which NPV can be rebuilt. The larvae affected by NPV are seen hanging from the upper leaves or twigs of the plant.

Method of use: For the control of bollworms, 250 to 300 larva equivalent (Larva Equivalent) should be dissolved in 400 to 500 liters of water and sprinkled at the rate of per hectare in the standing crop at an interval of 15 days as needed.

Also Read: Agri Business: How Telangana’s Woman Farmer Lakshmi got success

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