Location: Aerial Application Technology ResearchTitle: Insecticidal management of rangeland grasshoppers using a remotely piloted aerial application system
|Martin, Daniel - Dan|
|RODRIGUEZ, ROBERTO - University Of Hawaii|
|WOLLER, DEREK - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)|
|REUTER, K - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)|
|BLACK, LONNIE - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)|
|Latheef, Mohamed - Ab|
|TAYLOR, MASON - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)|
|LOPEZ COLON, KIARA - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)|
Submitted to: Drones
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/1/2022
Publication Date: 9/5/2022
Citation: Martin, D.E., Rodriguez, R., Woller, D.A., Reuter, K.C., Black, L.R., Latheef, M.A., Taylor, M., Lopez Colon, K.M. 2022. Insecticidal management of rangeland grasshoppers using a remotely piloted aerial application system. Drones. https://doi.org/10.3390/drones6090239.
Interpretive Summary: Grasshoppers annually consume more than 20% of rangeland forage in the western United States at an estimated loss of $1.25 billion per year in forage. Field research was conducted in collaboration with USDA-APHIS PPQ and the University of Hawaii to establish the feasibility of using remotely piloted aerial application systems (RPAAS) to make grasshopper control applications in western rangelands. Results showed that a grasshopper insecticide applied with the RPAAS significantly suppressed grasshopper populations over a 14 day period. The results from this work identified a new application technology that will allow grasshopper management programs to respond rapidly to evolving population hot spots and hatching areas for wide area suppression in a cost-effective and efficient manner.
Technical Abstract: Grasshoppers are integral parts of rangeland ecosystems, but also have the potential to reach population densities high enough (outbreaks) to cause serious economic damage from forage loss and adjacent crops. The objective of this study was to investigate the efficacy of treating grass-hopper population hotspots with a liquid insecticide with a remotely piloted aerial application system (RPAAS), as opposed to fixed-wing aircraft, the most common method currently in use. A liquid insecticide, Sevin XLR PLUS (containing carbaryl), was applied on replicated 4.05-hectare (10-acre) plots with an RPAAS on a ranch in, New Mexico. Our results demonstrated that Sevin XLR PLUS significantly suppressed grasshopper populations over a 14-day period (normalized population reduction was 79.11% ± 8.35% SEM) and quite rapidly (mostly by day 3) compared to untreated controls. These results are comparable to those achieved with fixed-wing aircraft. The RPAAS covered the whole test area in a single flight in approximately 5 minutes, making these population hotspot treatment applications relatively rapid, and potentially more cost-effective and more targeted in comparison to fixed-wing aircraft. Before adoption as an application method op-tion, further research is recommended on using RPAAS to cover larger areas, in combination with using diflubenzuron-based insecticides, which are often preferred.