Impact of granular carriers to improve the efficacy of entomopathogenic fungi against wireworms in spring wheat
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Wireworms are a major concern for wheat growers and several other crops around the globe. Environmentally friendly management strategies are needed because the present conventional chemical seed treatments can be ineffective and pose environmental risks. While biological control of wireworms in a general sense has not been practical, use of entomopathogenic fungi (EPF) is one environmentally friendly solution for this problem. In 2017, granular formulations of three EPFs, on polenta and millet spent substrate carriers, were applied in furrow at planting, at two rates, against a water control and imidacloprid seed treatment in spring wheat in Montana, USA. The selected EPFs were Beauveria bassiana GHA, Metarhizium robertsii DWR356, M. robertsii DWR2009, applied as granular formulations at 11 kg ha−1 or 22 kg ha−1. In 2017, at Valier, DWR356, DWR2009 on millet carrier at 22.4 kg ha−1 provided greater yield, but all the treatments at lower rate were still cost-effective. In 2018, B. bassiana GHA and M. robertsii DWR2009 were retested along with B. bassiana ERL836 and M. brunneum F52. Millet carrier alone, GHA and ERL836 on millet carrier obtained cost-effective results at irrigated and non-irrigated sites in 2018. However, these were less cost-effective than imidacloprid as a seed treatment. The overall cost–benefit ratio of using EPF granules was higher in both the years compared to control. Millet on which the fungi were grown worked better than the other carriers. Further evaluation of the effect of the carrier while applying EPFs in furrow as granules is required.
KeywordsBeauveria bassiana Metarhizium robertsii DWR356 Metarhizium robertsii DWR2009 Millet carrier Biological control Bioinsecticides
This project is supported by the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee. This material is based upon work supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, US Department of Agriculture, Multistate Hatch project (The Working Group on Improving Microbial Control of Arthropod Pests) under award Accn# 1014624. We thank our team members, John H Miller, Ramadevi Gadi, Debra A. Miller and Ramandeep Kaur Sandhi for their help in establishing the experiments. The authors would like to thank Mark Grubb and John Majerus, Jonathan Stoltz, Kevin Johnson and Mike Leys for providing the field sites to conduct field trails. We also thank summer intern Gabby Drishinski, Mikayla Connelly and Carley Ries for their help during this study.
This study was funded by Montana Wheat and Barley Committee (MDA/MWBC-CY5418-462) and Multistate Hatch project (Accession #1014624).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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