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Comparative Effect of Different Pest Control Practices on the Population of Sucking Insect Pests and Yield of Sunflower (Helianthus annuus).

Byline: Syed Agha Shah Hussain, Tanveer Iqbal and Muhammad Mamoon-ur-Rashid


Studies were conducted to investigate the comparative effect of different pest control practices i.e., chemical insecticide, cultural practices and neem seed aqueous extracts on the population of whitefly (Bemesia tabaci), aphids (Myzus persicae) jassids (Amrasca devastans) and yield of sunflower. Findings of present study revealed that the highest per leaf population of whitefly (2.39), aphids (0.58) and jassids (1.15) was recorded in check plots, whereas, lowest per leaf population of whitefly (1.43), aphids (0.36) and jassids (0.78) was recorded in a combined application of insecticide + cultural practices + neem seed aqueous extracts. Similar trend was observed regarding sunflower yield per hectare in variable where plots were treated with a combined application of insecticide + cultural practices + neem seed aqueous extracts produced highest yield (5653 kg ha-1), as against (4084 kg ha-1) in control plots.

Key words: Sunflower, sucking insect pests, insect pest management

In Pakistan, sunflower (Helianthus annuus) is cultivated on an area of 397,306 ha, with the total production of 603,894 tons. Its average yield is 1520 kg ha , while progressive farmers can obtain up to 3800 kg ha-1 (Anonymous, 2008-09). In the present changing agriculture and water constraint, area under sunflower has been increased significantly, especially in Sindh, since 2003 (Anonymous, 2005- 06). Sunflower is grown for oil production or for the use in confectionaries, as its oil content ranges from 40-50% which comprises 90% oleic and 10% linoleic acids and protein contents from 20-30% (Malik et al., 2001). Seeds of sunflower are the third largest source of vegetable oil worldwide, following cotton seed and soybean, however, in Pakistan, sunflower is the second important source of vegetable oil after cotton seed (Thavaprakash et al., 2002).

Sunflower oil is generally considered premium oil because of its light color, high level of unsaturated fatty acids and lack of linolenic acid, bland flavor and high smoke points (Nasim et al., 2011).

Among the several reasons of low production, susceptibility to insect pests and diseases is one of the major constraints. About 251 insect and mite species have been reported to attack sunflower around the globe (Rajmohan et al., 1974). In Pakistan, about 50 insect species have been known to damage the crop at various phases of its growth and development. Among them, 15 are considered potentially major destructive pests (Zahoor, 2000). Insect pests of sunflower are classified as seedling pests, sucking pests, chewing pests, soil insects and inflorescence pests (Basappa and Prasad, 2005). Among these, sucking pests like whitefly, jassids and aphids cause considerable losses to the crop at early stage of the crop growth. These sucking insect pests not only deteriorate the quantity but the quality of the crop as well.

The majority of farmers use chemical insecticides to control these insect pests in Pakistan, however, the indiscriminate use of these chemicals results in several problems such as insecticide resistance (Foster et al., 2007), environmental hazards and adverse effects on natural enemies (Mani and Krishnamoorthy, 1997; Campiche et al., 2006; Peng et al., 2010). This threatening situation makes it imperative to study the efficacy of some effective pest management strategies which can minimize these losses. It is well documented that plant derivatives can be used as an alternative approach, for an instance, neem (Azadirachta indica) proved to have great potential for its commercial exploitation to control these pests. Neem derivatives carry repellent, deterrent, antiovipositional and growth inhibiting effects against insect pests (Mamoon-ur-Rashid et al., 2012, 2013).

Therefore, the present research work was conducted to reduce the yield losses caused by sucking insect pests and to de vise an IPM program for their control.

Materials and methods

The experiments were conducted in the experimental area of Entomological Research Sub Station Multan. Sunflower variety S278 was sown on Jan 22, 2013. The sunflower was sown in double row strips 90 cm apart. The experiment was laid out by following Randomized Complete Block Design, having eight treatments including a control one. Each treatment was replicated three times. Plot size was kept 3 A- 4 m2. The sowing was done by dibbler, 2-3 seeds were sown at one point with a distance of 12 inches. Thinning was done when the plants became 8-10 cm high by leaving one healthy plant. Weedicide Tweezer was sprayed at its recommended dose at the time of sowing before irrigation for weed management. The data were recorded on weekly basis.

The effect of three variables viz. insecticide (Confidor @ 620 ml hec-1), cultural practices (hoeing) and neem seed aqueous extract @ 3% concentration was investigated. Details of treatments were as follows: T0, check; T1, insecticide; T2, cultural practices; T3, neem seed water extract; T4, insecticide + cultural practices; T5, insecticide + neem seed water extract; T6, cultural practices + neem seed water extract; T7, insecticide+ cultural practices + neem seed water extract.

Insecticide (Confidor) was sprayed after 30 days of sowing and two times during crop growing season at an interval of 35 days with the help of knapsack sprayer.

A cultural practice, hoeing was done by hand khurpa around the stem of sunflower plants in order to dispose the eggs of insect pests to sunlight. Hoeing was done after 30 days of the sowing of sunflower crop and once during crop growing season.

Two kilograms of dry neem seed was collected from the neem trees in Entomological Research Sub Station and was grinded in electric mixer. Pulverized neem seed was suspended overnight in a cloth in a bucket of water at the rate of 50 gm litr-1 for the preparation of aqueous solution. In this way concentrated solution of 5% was prepared to be used in the experiment. After about 12 h the cloth was taken out and squeezed and filtrate was collected. About 5 mg of soap was separately dissolved in a little water and added to the bucket. Solution was sprayed by knapsack hand operated sprayer after 30 days of sowing and then twice during crop growing season with an interval of 35 days.

Results and discussion

The data recorded on per leaf population of whitefly, aphid and jassids throughout the season in all the test treatments is given in Table I. The maximum per leaf population (2.39) of whitefly was recorded in T0 (check), which was significantly different from all the test treatments. The minimum per leaf populations of whitefly (1.43) was recoded in T7, which was statistically more or less similar to per leaf population (1.50) of whitefly recorded in T1 (insecticide).

Table I.- Effect of different control practices on the population of whitefly, aphid and jassids throughout the crop season.

###Mean per leaf population




T0###2.39 a###0.58 a###1.15 a

T1###1.50 ef###0.39 cd###0.96 b

T2###1.98 b###0.49 b###1.09 a

T3###1.81 bc###0.49 b###0.97 b

T4###1.63 de###0.34 d###0.83 c

T5###1.93 bc###0.47 bc###0.91 b

T6###1.79 cd###0.49 ab###0.94 b

T7###1.43 f###0.36 d###0.78 c

LSD Value###0.168###0.925###0.075

It is evident from the results that the application of insecticides reduced the population of whitefly when applied as a single dose or in combination with other test variables. However, the best results were obtained from the combination of all the control practices. The present findings are quite in agreement with those of Hassan et al.

(1984), Balasubramnian and Chelliah (1986) and Aleem (1986) who effectively controlled whiteflies through insecticidal application. Application of neem seed water extract also had significant impact on the population of test insect as compared to check plots. Similar results have been reported by Basappa and Sriharan (1999) for the management of sucking insect pests in sunflower which strongly support the present findings.

Table II.- Effect of different control practices on the yield of sunflower.

Treatments###Mean yield in kg ha-1

T0 Check###4084 g

T1 Insecticide###4450 f

T2 Cultural practices###4725 de

T3 Neem seed water extract###4692 e

T4 Insecticide + Cultural practices###5382 b

T5 Insecticide + Neem seed water###4751 d


T6 Cultural practices + Neem seed###5015 c

water extract

T7 Insecticide + cultural practices +###5653 a

Neem seed water extract

LSD Value###35.49

The data revealed that the treatment T0 (check) had maximum per leaf population (0.58) of aphid. The minimum per leaf population (0.34) of aphid was recorded in T4, which was statistically similar to T1 (insecticide) and T7) having per leaf population 0.39 and 0.36 of aphid, respectively. The treatment T6, T2, T3 and T5 with 0.49, 0.49, 0.49 and 0.47 per leaf population of aphid was statistically similar.

The minimum per leaf population (0.78) of jassid was recorded in T7, while the treatment T0 (check) had maximum per leaf population (1.15) of jassid, which was statistically similar to T2. While an intermediate per leaf population was recorded in T1, T3, T5 (insecticide + neem seed water extract) and T6 and was non-significantly different to each other. These findings are in line with those of Shah et al. (1984), Dhoble et al. (1985), Hassan et al. (1984), Aleem (1986), Balosubramanian and Chelliah (1986).

All the treatments had significant effect on the yield of sunflower as compared to control. The minimum yield (4084 kg ha-1) was recorded in T0 (check). However, T2, T3 and T5 (insecticide + neem seed water extract) had an intermediate yield. The maximum yield (5653 kg ha-1) was recorded in T7, which was significantly different from all the test treatments.

The highest per leaf population (2.39) of whitefly was recorded in T0 and the lowest per leaf population (1.43) of whitefly was recorded in T7.

It is clear from the data that application of combination of all practices increased the sunflower yield. These observations are in agreement with Jagadish et al. (2006). They found that the IPM module consisting of seed treatment with imidacloprid (5g kg-1) + two sprays of NSKE 5% + two sprays of HaNPV at 250LE/ha provided significant reduction in population of all sucking pests and resulted in highest grain yield. The module also proved superior to chemical control in sunflower.

Cultural practice (hoeing) was tested for the purpose of exposing the eggs inside the soil to the sunlight, However, it did not show any role for the management of sucking pests, although cultural practice in combination with insecticide increased the yield of sunflower. The results of present study suggested that the combination of all three practices (T7) can be used to get a better and safer control of the sucking insect pests to produce higher yield of sunflower.


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Article Details
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Author:Hussain, Syed Agha Shah; Iqbal, Tanveer; Mamoon-ur-Rashid, Muhammad
Publication:Pakistan Journal of Zoology
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Apr 30, 2015
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