The August company has listed the most dangerous pests that pose a threat to the harvest in 2020. The focus this season is on locusts, aphids, meadow moths and grain mites. The spread of pests is facilitated by mild winters, which are getting warmer. At the same time, this year, farmers have been spared many of the caterpillars that damaged agricultural crops in 2019: burdock, due to the mass migration of which from field to field, cars on the roads went into a skid, cotton scoop settling inside corn cobs, and the main thing is the cabbage moth, whose increased population could put an end to the cultivation of rapeseed in our country. Reproduction of Lepidoptera was limited by the April frosts in southern Russia.
Against the background of an unprecedented invasion of locusts in Africa, Asia and the Middle East in Russia, the regions of the South and the North Caucasus united in the fight against a dangerous pest: Stavropol, Kalmykia, Dagestan, Chechnya, Astrakhan, Volgograd and Rostov regions. These territories of Russia are a kind of northern border, to which the "foreign" locust can fly and begin to breed there.
“Particularly large outbreaks of locust numbers in 2020 were noted in Stavropol, Kalmykia, Dagestan, Volgograd and Astrakhan regions,” says Dmitry Belov, head of product development at August. - However, the outbreak and its consequences are different things, and in general this year we managed to cope with the locust. An outbreak is recorded as a result of monitoring: in essence, it is a model that is built on the basis of real data, supported by information on weather conditions and monitoring data from the regions from which the locust migrates. If in Asia, in the Middle East, in Africa, the rise of locusts begins, as this year, then it is clear that we also need to prepare. "
Monitoring is carried out through soil excavations in locust localization areas. As a rule, these include beams, hollows, ravines, thickets of reeds in a humid area. Experts are looking for locust "nuggets", they can detect larvae, and in the most extreme case, they record the flight - when a large mass of locust rises on the wing. Locust spread is usually controlled by treating the infected areas with insecticides before flying. Therefore, the outbreak can be large, and the damage to agriculture from it - minimal. The company "August", in particular, notes that this year signals of damage to crops by locusts were registered in the Stavropol and Volgograd regions.
For several years in a row, aphids have been causing problems for Russian agricultural producers, damaging crops of sunflower, corn, peas and other crops. According to the August specialists, aphids can cause serious damage, as they show resistance to pyrethroid and systemic neonicotinoid insecticides - especially in the southern regions, where in hot weather neonicotinoids hardly move inside dried plants and do not reach their goal. Therefore, experts recommend using pure organophosphate insecticides or tank mixtures against the pest. In 2020, aphids were affected by crops in the Voronezh and Kursk regions, in the Stavropol Territory and in the Altai Territory.
Black caterpillars of the meadow moth - another pest that worries farmers and summer residents this season - prefer plants at a young age, with delicate foliage. This summer, the number of these caterpillars was higher than usual. This was especially noticeable in the Novosibirsk region, in the Altai region, on the territory of a part of the Krasnoyarsk region and in the Omsk region.
“In the Central Black Earth Region, for example, they are already accustomed to the meadow moth, there it is not a serious problem for farmers. Although we, in particular, have seen how, in the absence of treatment with insecticidal preparations of sunflower, the plant remains perforated, completely perforated leaves. The fight against the meadow moth, if found in time, is not difficult at all: it can be effectively destroyed with the help of a number of drugs, including pyrethroids, ”says Dmitry Belov.
Due to the warm winters in Russia, the population of grain mites is increasing. The winter grain (red-footed) tick seriously impairs the overwintering of winter wheat. In 2018-2019 it was especially common in the Stavropol Territory, Krasnodar Territory, and Rostov Region, and this year it was registered even in the south of the Voronezh Region. Wheat mite is a microscopic mite that also damages winter wheat, but because of its size, yellow spots on the leaves are often mistaken by agricultural producers for a disease of fungal etiology or the effects of the weather. In the past and the year before last, outbreaks of the pest population were recorded in the Republic of Bashkortostan, Altai, in the Novosibirsk region, the Kurgan region, to a lesser extent in the Sverdlovsk and Chelyabinsk regions. In 2020, it was again discovered on the territory of Bashkortostan. This year, in the Voronezh region, the tick strongly affects corn, soybeans, beets.
At the same time, the "August" company states that serious frosts in the southern regions at the end of April not only damaged the crops, which caused a shortage of harvest this year, but also limited the activity of many pests. First of all - the cabbage moth, which caused significant damage to the crops of spring rape over the past five years. In 2020, no outbreaks of its number were recorded.
“In the period from 2015 to 2019. in our country, the area of spring rape has increased from 1 million hectares to 1,5 million, says Dmitry Belov. - Many farmers began to introduce rapeseed into the structure of crop rotation, because it was actively exported to European markets and to China both in the form of grain and in the form of oil. At some point, they even managed to squeeze some European manufacturers. However, the situation was intervened by the cabbage moth - a pest that has always been in Russia, but whose increased number was also caused by warm winters and a rapid growth in rapeseed areas.
The peculiarity of the cabbage moth is that during the summer, several generations of an insect can change in the same field - unlike, for example, locusts. At the same time, pest eggs, caterpillars, pupae, and adults can be in the same territory. Therefore, many farmers had to carry out insecticidal treatments up to 6 times per season, and the demand for some positions on insecticides for rapeseed on the market increased by 400-500%. The specialists of the "August" company note that a part of agricultural producers at the end of 2018-2019. even decided to abandon the cultivation of rapeseed, since those who did not carry out the treatment could lose the crop completely, and those who protected it, due to the cost of insecticides, significantly sagged in profitability.
This year, outbreaks of activity of such a pest as the burdock butterfly were also not recorded, while in the previous year its caterpillars, usually few in number and feeding mainly on weeds, caused damage to crops in the Stavropol Territory, in the Kuban, in the Rostov and Voronezh regions. On the roads through which the masses of these caterpillars migrated from field to field in search of a forage base, cars could easily slip into a skid. In addition, the Stavropol region this year does not suffer from the cotton scoop - its large caterpillars the size of a finger last year harmed soybeans, corn, getting inside the cob, and even vineyards. The situation with the marble bug has leveled off in 2020, which in recent years has caused serious damage to southern gardens and urban plantings - for example, in Sochi.
“The situation with many pests has changed: weather conditions and other factors that have yet to be assessed by scientists - but I think it was the weather in the first place - have led to the fact that many insect pests are practically absent this year. I do not exclude that their populations could have decreased due to the protective measures taken, - Dmitry Belov believes. “However, in general, the climate will continue to change, and we will have much more pest problems. The challenge for companies like ours is to develop crop protection technologies and offer new control tools. "
Material provided by the press service of the company "August"