Brazil/UK researchers to test maize biocontrols
The UK-based research centre, Rothamsted Research (Harpenden, Hertfordshire), and the Brazilian agricultural research corporation, the Embrapa, are starting a pest control monitoring project aimed at Brazilian maize growers. The main focus is on fall armyworms (Spodoptera frugiperda), the Embrapa notes. The parties have co-operated on biological controls for almost a decade. The work has focused on developing pheromones and other semiochemicals for use against insects on soybeans, cotton and cashew nuts. The research being initiated this year by the institutions is based on the use of plant "sentinels" in maize crops, and aims to encourage smallholder maize growers to switch from pesticide use towards biological controls.