CCRI tackles white stem borer scourge

The pest affected over 3,000 hectares of coffee plantations in 2014

April 08, 2015 12:00 am | Updated June 27, 2015 04:14 pm IST - BENGALURU:

(Left) Infested plants wrapped in gunny bag strips; (right) dead adult borers at the tip of the emergence hole.

(Left) Infested plants wrapped in gunny bag strips; (right) dead adult borers at the tip of the emergence hole.

The Central Coffee Research Institute (CCRI), Balehonnur, which functions under the Coffee Board, has achieved a breakthrough in its research to combat white stem borer in Arabica coffee plantations.

In one of the field trials, infested plants showing typical symptoms were marked and the main stem was wrapped in gunny bag strips. The gunny bag cover on the main stem was sprayed with an insecticide formulation containing Chlorpyrifos 50EC plus Cypermethrin 5EC at the dosage of 1.2ml/litre of water, along with 1ml of a wetting agent. After completion of the flight, the wrapped plants were examined for status of the stem borer stages. It was observed that in almost all infested plants, the adult beetles were found dead at the tip of the emergence hole, said an official note issued by CCRI.

For the first time, it has been demonstrated that the adult beetles of stem borer could be killed before their emergence, said Jawaid Akhtar, Chairman, Coffee Board.

Plantations spread over 3,000 hectares in the State were affected by the pest in 2014. Karnataka produces 70 per cent of the country’s coffee.

CCRI Director Raghuramulu Y. told The Hindu that the method of treating the infested plants should be completed by the end of April and October. Following encouraging results in preliminary trials, he said the institute will conduct more experiments during the pre-monsoon flight season (April-May 2015) to validate the results on a large scale.

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