Remember how delighted was greeted with the appearance of pesticides, particularly DDT, sulivshih humanity complete freedom from various insects, ruining the fields, orchards, the trees. But admiration and hope gave way to disappointment and anxiety. Most countries abandoned the use of DDT and limited the use of some other pesticides.
But how to protect plants from pests?
This is what we asked Ras said the director of All-Union Institute of Plant Protection, Corresponding Member of the Academy of Agricultural Sciences Capito Vasilyevich Novozhilov.
All the more widespread is now the so-called integrated plant protection — the sum of the different events where the emphasis is on the use of natural forces and the rational use of chemicals.
Biological protection as a component of integrated programs, gives hopes. The basis of it is put «biological warfare», knowledge and use of natural contradictions in the world of insects.
There are insects — «herbivores» — this is our competitor, we call them pests. There entomophages — our helpers, the natural enemies of harmful insects. There are also fungi and viruses that cause disease pests.
Practical and biological control is to maintain such a balance of forces, to less recourse to so-called active measures to toxic chemicals.
Most are the benefits of, for example, Trichogramma. It lays its eggs in the eggs of dangerous pests of winter wheat: cabbage, alfalfa and other scoop. 17 years ago in our institute we started building factories in its breeding. The first experiments have shown high efficiency. Now the country has about 50 lines on the time-keeping capacity of Trichogramma three million individuals each, and about 1,000 industrial laboratories «artisanal» character. 12 million hectares of already produced Trichogramma.
The success of her breeding have generated a lot of optimism, and scientists decided to expand the range of beneficial insects. One of the following candidates for the industrial development — Goldeneye. It is effective in the fight against aphids in private grounds, cotton bollworm in cotton, the Colorado potato beetle on potato.
It must be said that the term «harmful» insects did not accurately reflect the name. «Harmful» insects directly to human health does not bring any harm. They only pretend to be a «piece of cake» by nature, which calculates and people.
In the fight with them we have to explore all the complex relationships to maximize the natural contradictions in the world of insects.
The task teaching is that a complex biocoenosis field in the existing equilibrium in nature, to reduce the population of harmful and that it, with a clear quantitative limits. Here’s a desirable selectivity and species and «numeric» have some modern methods of biological protection and, in particular — an artificial insect sterilization.
In the laboratory bred insects are the same, we are going to fight. With the help of radiation or chemicals, they are sterilized and are available on the field, there are their own kind, and are serious competition prolific. We act not to destroy the agent and with the help of these same harmful insects are reducing their numbers without touching the rest of the world of insects and animals. This selective method of work is not as lightning fast as a conventional chemical treatment. The results can affect a week, month, year. But in a complex biocoenosis Community of harmful and beneficial insects within a particular area we will make «traumatic» disharmony. First, the pest will be reduced with the help of sterilization, and the remaining «finish off» predators and parasites.
Extremely promising solution seems to pest control with the help of their disease. Different viruses and bacteria can cause massive epizootic among predetermined pest without affecting other insects. There are germs — these biological insecticides. They produce toxins that kill insects only one species and is completely harmless to humans and warm-blooded animals.
Who has arranged production of domestic micro-biological products — formulations including bacteria, microscopic fungi, viruses. It entobakterin — to kill leaf-vegetable crops and sugar beet. In one gram of powder of about 30 billion spores of bacteria. Spores penetrate into the body of the pest with food, enteric transformed into bacteria that multiply and fill the insect tissues. Death comes to the fifth-eighth day. Or boverin. They suppress the Colorado potato beetle, caterpillars and bugs.
Features microorganisms look more strikingly, if we recall that the multiplication of beneficial insects — troublesome and produce micro biological preparation at the plant in the form of powder is easier and cheaper.
But all too energetic intervention in the world of insects can bring new challenges and dramatically upset the balance. After the ‘incubator’ predator destroy the pest, do not lash out whether he and other beneficial insects? Also — on the field is not one type of pest, but a few, and the number of harmful insects, one species is strictly controlled by the number of its competitor. And whether there will be this: kill a predator or parasite of a pest, and would follow another outbreak, against whom we have nothing in this field do not have?
So, biological protection — one of the measures. Use it should be calculated in advance, not only in terms of the suppression of the main «culprit» of crop losses, but also in terms of maintaining a favorable ecological community.
With all our sympathies to the biological control of the situation arise at times when insects nurses fail to keep «environmental explosion» pests.
When a plague of locusts, cotton bollworm and other pests we may virtually unarmed. And here we have to seek the services of chemistry.
High yields today are not rare, can only be achieved with the use of chemical means of protection.
The new generation of their very different from those that were common until recently. They suppress the pest during the season and completely destroyed and neutralized without toxic residues have a greater selectivity of action for individual units and groups of arthropods, harmless to beneficial insects. For example, «Theo-dan» is harmless to bees, «pirimor» — for entomophages.
Developed and new methods of introducing them into the soil, for example in the form of pellets — it is safe for those who do not live on the surface, limited dangerous for the soil. Finally, the pellets do not contaminate the environment during the demolition of rain and flood waters.
In addition, you can use chemistry and in a completely new role when it almost merges with the biological control.
So, the smell of insect — a means of communication, it can warn them of the danger, report found food, calling males know their victims and enemies. And every smell — is not information for consideration, and the order for immediate action. Scientists decided to learn the language of odors, to study substances that give the most «responsible» command. Advances in the Chemistry of Insect possible to identify and create a synthetic drugs, which tend to mimic the functions of natural hormones. These compounds are characterized in that they have strictly directed action. Attractants, for example, the call signals — all focused strictly on individuals of their own species, each sought a sexual attractant. This is the universal means of selective and require relatively little material. If we use pesticides per hectare of about a kilogram, the hormonal drugs — a few grams.
So chemistry provides a method of producing the drug. A method of influence — a purely biological.
The researchers also studied for a long time and specific hormones that control the development of the individual insects molt — change skin during growth; metamorphosis — the transformation of the larvae into the adult insect; diapause — hibernation under adverse conditions. Chemists have identified these substances found chemical formulas and learned to synthesize their artificial counterparts. Thus we have obtained a very convenient weapon against certain types of pests. Chemical hormones commanders of the development process of insects, combine the harmlessness of biological and chemical means efficiency. Spraying these substances in the fields, we can «trick» the natural process of growth of harmful insects, make go to a different state — turn into a chrysalis, shed, go into diapause. The result is a non-viable form.
But again, we should not forget about the constant monitoring of the living strength, balance in nature. Most of the insects, even those whom we consider harmful, is needed to maintain other animals and has developed over millennia of general equilibrium. This also applies to a particular local area, and the entire biosphere. Details and carefully follow all the supply chain, we see — if at first will disappear some kind of insect, for him, for example, birds that fed on them, the birds — small animals will eventually feel the loss of this species and people.
In recent years, scientists have worked hard to aid encourage the plant itself, to mobilize its internal strength.
This is the most efficient, friendly and safe way in a modern environment. In the implementation of breeding programs based on the principle of resistance to pests and disease origins. If the plant that produces breeder, has a high economic features high resistance to damage it as it purifies the environment from harmful insects. The number of them on the crops of these varieties dramatically reduced.
Well, what about the economy? The chemical method while giving a great effect, but has a high cost of drugs, works on its creation. It is believed that the «price» of a new drug 7- $ 8 million. In addition, the need to build factories, to scatter the product in the fields of … According to international reports, for each ton of the drug, and they are all on hydrocarbons, spent eight tons of oil as a raw material. And oil for the past 10 years has risen many times. Next. To protect hectare using chemicals once, must be expended 200 000 kcal for the production and spreading of the field. And intensive crops, such as cotton, garden, need almost ten times the processing season.
On the selection of immune varieties we spend at least … Every ruble pays between 100 and 300 times. That’s the economy. Americans to obtain wheat varieties resistant to the Hessian fly, steppe moth, aphids, moths alfalfa, and corn borer to the steppe, we have spent over the years about 9.3 million dollars. And you get the effect of three billion! And it’s only by reducing crop losses.
We deal with other issues in particular — phyto-sanitary diagnosis, ie clarification — which are common pests on crops, what is their size, than it threatens.
Phytosanitary diagnostics laborious, time consuming and means to explore the vast territory. How to automate the job, especially in today’s conditions?
Six years ago, we began the development of promising methods of phytosanitary diagnostics. Today, we are helping helicopters, airplanes AN-2. They allow you to get visually or by photographing a detailed information regarding the pest, the extent of crop damage, and so on. D.
In the Kherson region of 16 working hours of flight we have identified in the spring of last year, the actual spread of rodents and ground beetles bread. In carrying out this work in the usual way it would be needed for one day 5642 specialist.
As a result of well-organized struggle against rodents-us area savings of nine million rubles. What is the economy? In fact, that fight wherever needed, and did not fight where required.
According to the results of phytosanitary diagnostics Public Service collects data on plant pests and diseases. These data are processed by computer, and then conduct pest forecasts are for a year or a few months. They help you choose a plan of protective measures in the collective and state farms within a specific timeframe.
Based on the agro-climatic indicators, we have compiled an overall picture of migration and pest outbreaks within the current five-year plan. This allows the organization to focus on planning the preparation of all the material and technical resources in order to prevent surprises. Biologists attach great importance to the forecast today.
For all the themes of our institute scientists conduct joint research with scientists from Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, East Germany, Bulgaria, USA, Germany, France, Japan, Switzerland.
We live on the same planet. Protection of plants — a common cause of biologists all over the world, and the joint efforts of the main problems need to be addressed.