Release of Trichogramma pretiosum in cotton with a novel ground sprayer
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A mechanical system for applying insect natural enemies in a liquid suspension and adhering the natural enemies to foliage was evaluated for the release of Trichogramma pretiosum Riley in cotton. Immersion of host eggs containing T. pretiosum pupae in a mixture of commercial carrier (BioCarrier™) and water for up to four hours did not significantly reduce emergence of adults from host eggs. However, following application of host eggs with a novel sprayer, the BioSprayer™, emergence of adult T. pretiosurn was significantly reduced by 22-30%. Significantly more of the host eggs with T. pretiosum pupae (78%) recovered from the cotton canopy after application with the BioSprayer™ were present in the upper plant canopy and 14% and 8% were recovered in the middle and lower portion of the canopy, respectively. The rate of loss of applied host eggs from cotton leaves was 13.6% per day and was attributed to weathering of the adhesive, abrasion from leaves and insect predation.
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