Control of the African Armyworm, Spodoptera Exempta (Walk.)

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Date
1979
Authors
E. S. Brown,
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Abstract
This appreciation of the problem of control of the armyworm Spodoptera exempta summarizes the conclusions reached so far, and indicates some of the fields in which further research should be profitable. Standard methods of pest-control are discussed, with opinions of their relative chances of success in the case of S. exempta. It is suggested for various reasons that a policy based on saving the immediate crop, rather than on long-term reduction of the population, is the most practicable at present. However, biogeographical research and studies of seasonal changes in distribution with the help of a network of light-traps, are beginning to suggest a possible case for occasional government- sponsored control operations in certain non-cultivated areas, for the protection of particular crop-areas threatened by the next generation. In this connexion improvement in ultra-low-volume spraying techniques from ground and air, is being studied, with a view to treatment of large areas at low cost. Further information on the economics of control is necessary in order to know whether such a policy could be fairly recommended. Emphasis is placed on the importance of applying control measures early enough to prevent serious damage. There is reason to hope that a forecasting system may be developed which will help to realize this objective.
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East African Agricultural And Forestry Journal, XLIV (No. 4), p. 237-245