Location: Insect Behavior and Biocontrol ResearchTitle: Assessing the current status of “push-pull” technology in worldwide agriculture and forestry
|Legaspi, Jesusa - Susie|
|KANGA, LAMBERT - Florida A & M University|
|HASEEB, MUHAMMAD - Florida A & M University|
Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/15/2021
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: “Push – pull” insect pest management refers to the simultaneous use of intercrops as pest repellents and attractants to respectively “push” pests away from a protected crop, and “pull” them into a trap crop where they may be controlled, preferably using biological methods. Scientists at USDA-ARS, Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology, Tallahassee, Florida, and U.S. Vegetable Laboratory, Charleston, South Carolina, in collaboration with researchers at Florida A&M University, conducted a review of primary scientific literature on research and applications of push-pull technology (PPT) worldwide in agriculture and forestry. There was only one singular success story found world-wide from East Africa where the maize-stemborer-Desmodium-Napier grass system provides control. Various disjointed research efforts in North America, South America, Asia, and Europe were described. Many of the requirements for PPT will be inapplicable in the intensive agricultural systems of more developed countries but may have some use in small organic farms or greenhouse settings of industrialized countries. It is speculated that the main hindrance to more widespread application of PPT in many parts of the world is simply a lack of will to do so.
Technical Abstract: “Push – pull” insect pest management refers to the simultaneous use of intercrops as pest repellents and attractants to respectively “push” pests away from a protected crop, and “pull” them into a trap crop where they may be controlled, preferably using biological methods. Ideally, the effects are synergistic. The term has also been used wherein the attractants are applied to natural enemies and not pests. In this chapter, push and pull refers only to pests. Furthermore, repellents and attractants may include natural or synthetic plant chemicals or products. The authors searched primary scientific literature on research and applications of push-pull technology (PPT) worldwide in agriculture and forestry. Other areas of PPT research, were excluded such as in medical entomology or non-entomological research. The East African work on the maize-stemborer-Desmodium-Napier grass system remains the singular success story. There are various disjointed research efforts in North America and Asia. There were very few examples in South America and Europe. Plants that are attractant and repellent to insect pests are found throughout the world. Therefore, candidates for use as push or pull plants should not limit the applicability of PPT to selected geographical regions. This is especially true if PPT tools are extended to include synthetic plant volatiles and other artificial methods such as attractant or repellent lighting. It is unlikely that biological factors alone will limit the applicability of PPT to a given cropping system. Success of PPT at the field level will only occur in landscapes of intermediate ecological complexity. A number of socio-economic prerequisites are needed for successful PPT implementation. PPT management requires a thorough understanding of the ecological interactions involved in the plant-herbivore-natural enemy communities. Intensive monitoring and decision-making will be critical, thereby requiring considerable investments in research and labor. Operational costs will be higher than conventional pest management and more variable efficacy must be tolerable. Essential to successful PPT will be the availability of an effective system of knowledge transfer from researcher to the farmer. Successful implementation of PPT is more likely when farmers have a tradition of companion cropping. Multiple cropping systems have been used historically throughout the world, although its practice declined significantly in industrialized countries with the advent of modern agriculture. The worldwide use of multiple cropping appears to decline with temperature and rainfall. Therefore, the practice of multiple cropping is common throughout Asia, Africa and South America, and is typical in many resource-poor countries. Many of these requirements for PPT will be inapplicable in the intensive agricultural systems of more developed countries but may have some use in small organic farms or greenhouse settings of industrialized countries. PPT has proven it can be economically viable. The technology may be underexploited in parts of Asia and South America. It is possible that the main hindrance to more widespread application in many parts of the world is simply a lack of will to do so.