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Effective Strategies to Control Armyworm in Wheat Crops


Armyworm in wheat crops are major wheat pests that can cause devastating crop losses very easily. They are the pests of cereal crops and have a history of being around the wheatbelt areas. Armyworms, though dangerous, can be controlled efficiently if detected early and sprayed at optimized intervals. Early detection and control can prevent the imminent economic damage. If not promptly addressed, these insects can damage wheat crops within a few days.

Both conventional and biological control options exist. It is important to know what exactly is beneficial to the farmers and the whole world in a very sustainable way. Sometimes, for short-term benefits, people forget the long-term benefits. It is important that we focus on biological control with Bt-based products. We should focus on biological control with Bt-based products as they are good from all view points especially when armyworm in wheat is already there.

Close-up-view-of-small-worms-infesting-wheat-grains-showing-signs-of-damage-and-infestation.

Cultural Control Practices

Cultural control practices are very important to regular farmers because these practices ensure that farmers do not suffer from the breaking through of armyworms in wheat that create a panic environment. Being a very simple method, it does not even hamper the soil in the long term, which is why sustainable agricultural practice lovers prefer these practices.

  • Crop rotation with non-host plants is important because it can significantly reduce the number of armyworms attacking the plants. The non-host crops can support the wheat crops and hamper the breaking-through armyworms. It sometimes leads to the end of the growth of armyworms in the sustainable run. Non-host plants are usually the best ones to get desired results without hampering the overall farming.
  • Managing volunteer wheat is necessary. We all know that volunteer wheat and various varieties of weeds can easily use up large amounts of soil moisture. So, at times when water storage becomes important, especially in summer fallow, volunteer wheat crops should be destroyed at any cost. If you are thinking of destroying the volunteer wheat after the new wheat plants come up, then it might be a bit late sometimes. Farmers should always leave ample time between clearing volunteer wheat and planting the new wheat crops. Armyworm in wheat can be dangerous without such a cultural practice option.
  • Tillage to disrupt overwintering larvae is the best thing one can usually think of. Tillage often works best when the condition is very dry and warm, and the plants are small. These conditions are suitable for the rapid death of plants, and tillage becomes the best way to clear the plants less than two weeks before winter, as in winter, the wheat seeding starts. Controlling armyworms in wheat is necessary and cultural practice like this helps a lot.
  • When early planting begins, farmers consider planting trap crops to lure armyworms away from wheat plants. They can spray these trap crops across the ground to keep the main crop safe. It’s essential to approach armyworm control in wheat farms judiciously.

Tiny-white-worms-crawling-on-damaged-wheat-kernels-highlighting-pest-problem-in-cereal-crops.

Chemical Control Practices

Chemical control practices are widely known to farmers as they give short-term relief, but many do not know their long-term impact. Still, if there is a need for a quick fix, then knowing this method helps. It is usually advisable that you avoid this method.

  • Broad-spectrum insecticide is used to kill many beneficial insects along with their natural enemies. Some known insecticides that are broad-spectrum insecticides are organophosphate (malathion, dimethoate), neonicotinoid (Admire, Assail), carbamate (Sevin, Lannate), and pyrethroid (Baythroid, Danitol).
  • Issues with resistance to environmental impact are things you should know. As much as chemical control practices are preferred, resistance becomes an issue over the long term. The crops lose the strength to tackle the armyworms after consistent usage of chemical insecticides. Environmental impact can be seen as soil loses the nutrition value it holds. This does not allow the future plantations to grow well.
  • Preserving natural enemies of armyworms can be difficult with regular usage of chemical insecticides. For this reason, it is never justified to use chemical insecticides till it is not absolutely necessary.

Biological Control Practices to Control Armyworm in Wheat

Bt-based microbial insecticides and their active ingredient, BACILLUS THURINGIENSIS are the talks of the town. It can easily control armyworms. It targets specific pests and does not attack the beneficial insects. Novobac is a brand that prefers sustainable agricultural practices and has focused on developing Bt Thuricide.

Bottle-of-BT-Thuricide-labeled-as-biological-insecticide-placed-next-to-infested-wheat-samples-showing-effective-treatment-solution.

How does Bt kill armyworm in wheat?

With proper mode of action, Bt can easily kill the armyworm larvae. It has toxic proteins that bind the receptors in the midgut. It damages the gut, and pretty soon, the larvae die.

Advantages over chemical insecticides

Biological practices usually have advantages over chemical insecticides. It takes care of the short-term requirements just like chemical insecticides and is also pretty good for sustainable farming, unlike chemical insecticides. You should prefer this practice always with cultural practices so that your farm stays good in the long-term. Insecticides for armyworms in wheat should be chosen with proper thought process.

Why is Biological Control Better?

Biological control is usually better because you do not have any headaches of losing out on soil nutrition or facing plant resistance issues in the future. Biological control helps you to attack armyworms without attacking any of the beneficial insects. Selective activity against armyworms is the priority of the biological control method. No issues with resistance or environmental persistence thanks to the innovations in biological practices. Minimal impact on beneficial insects and pollinators that decrease the headaches of the farmers. Worker safety is maintained because they don’t have to use harmful chemicals, which often pose health risks. It easily integrates into modern farming as a part of integrated pest management. Armyworms in wheat pesticides should always be biological one rather than chemical one for armyworm control in wheat farming.

Optimizing Bt Applications

The most important thing is to optimize the usage of Bt so that you get the desired results. A few things that you should keep in mind are:

  • Use recommended label rates. Seek professional help if you are a bit confused, although it should not be required at all. Armyworm treatment in wheat crop should be done with care.
  • Target small larvae before extensive feeding occurs or else these small larvae will grow up to add to your headache. Then you will need more quantity of Bt product to keep the armyworm attack under control. Armyworm in wheat crop is always a headache.
  • Ensure good spray coverage on foliage, as with good coverage; you can find the larvae and the adult insects properly. It will easily kill the wave of armyworms within a quick time. Controlling armyworms in wheat is never easy if you neglect this.
  • Time sprays for peak egg hatch and larval activity are needed. Keep spraying after every 5 to 7 days.
  • Combine with scouting for economic thresholds. It will help you save money while you save your wheat crops. 
  • Consider tank mixing with reduced-risk insecticides if needed. Controlling armyworms in wheat farm should be a priority if you want the best results.

Bt Efficacy Against Armyworm in wheat

It is usually the best option against armyworms when they are attacking the wheat. You need to utilize it to your benefit and to the benefit of the environment, too. It helps soil to hold on to the nutrition values so that even the future plantations are not an issue. Armyworms in wheat crops are quite dangerous so always be alert. A few points you should know about bt based insecticides are:

  • Highly effective against fall armyworm and true armyworm. It does not even attack other beneficial insects.
  • 85-95% mortality in university trials, and that is a result you can always trust. Controlling armyworms in wheat crops can now be easy for you.
  • Works by ingestion, not contact, so coverage is key. Always focus on having good coverage so that not a single armyworm is left in the garden. Controlling armyworms in wheat is easy thanks to this biological insecticide.
  • The treatment maintains control for 5 to 7 days before needing reapplication. Although frequent reapplication is beneficial, it should always occur at a minimum interval of 5 to 7 days. Farmers should apply armyworm treatment in wheat farms in an optimized manner.

Side-by-side-comparison-of-wheat-samples-before-and-after-using-BT-Thuricide-showing-significant-reduction-in-worm-infestation.

Conclusion

Bt-insecticide with its active ingredient Bacillus thuringiensis can easily kill the armyworm in wheat crop as it enters the midgut of the armyworm to destroy them within a couple of days. It helps you to avoid chemical control practices that are highly toxic to the environment. It ensures that beneficial insects are not killed while the armyworms are attacked. Novobac, with all its research, has made the best product for farmers to deal with armyworms when they are attacking the wheat. It is very appreciable that a manufacturer is focusing on sustainable agricultural practices. Maintaining soil quality while dealing with armyworms attacking wheat crops used to be a huge task before Novobac made magic with BT-based insecticides. You do not need to search more for insecticides for armyworms in wheat crops.

 

References:

  1. Yu, Yang, and Zhiming Wei. “Increased oriental armyworm and aphid resistance in transgenic wheat stably expressing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) endotoxin and Pinellia ternate agglutinin (PTA).” Plant cell, tissue and organ culture 94 (2008): 33-44.
  2. Young, S. Y., and D. C. Steinkraus. “Control of armyworm on heading wheat with Bacillus thuringiensis products and baculoviruses, 1994.” Arthropod management tests 21.1 (1996): 318-319.

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