‘Eco-friendly’ fungus capsules could help potato farmers fight destructive wireworm pest

| February 18, 2019
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Wireworm can severely damage potato crops. Image: Virginia Cooperative Extension.
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

An EU-funded INBIOSOIL project has developed a new, eco-friendly method to control wireworm in potatoes that can be used in conventional and organic systems. The new method of pest control uses special formulated capsules [that] contain a strain of an entomopathogenic fungus that attacks specific pest insects and can reduce chemical pesticide use on potato farms.

The capsules aim to control wireworms – currently regarded as the most pressing problem in potato production. ‘They contain compounds which are non-synthetic products and therefore their use is possible in both organic and conventional cropping systems…..

The launch of these capsules in 2016 in Germany came at a time, when virtually no specific synthetic compounds targeting wireworms were available. The compound used in conventional fields in the past was Fipronil….However, the European Commission introduced a moratorium on products suspected of playing a role in the bee disease Colony Collapse Disorder.

Related article:  Podcast: 'Are we all going to die?' Entomologist breaks down the 'bee-pocalypse' that 'threatens the global food supply'

Read full, original article: Eco-efficient capsules to revolutionize pest control in potato crops

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