18. Using weather data to forecast insect pest outbreaks.
In: Proceed. of the Int. Workshop on the Impact of Weather Parameters on Growth and Yield of Rice, IRRI, Philippines, 1987, pp. 139-146
In this paper it is examined how weather influences the bionomics of migrant pests and the application of this examination to forecasting outbreaks is discussed. The situation for rice pests is considered, particularly the application of weather data to forecasting outbreaks of brown planthopper.
The development of forecasting systems to manage outbreaks of migrant pests is becoming increasingly important. Such systems normally are based on integrating meteorological and entomological data into a conceptual model that relates the probability of occurrence of outbreaks to a particular series of events which can be monitored. The advantages of this approach to forecasting are both tactical and strategical: those concerned with pest control can plan ahead to ensure that appropriate resources and the means to deploy them effectively are available where and when they will be needed. A strategic advantage of major importance is the potential for limiting the spread of outbreaks through timely control of early infestations, reducing the production of further migrants.
The author states that there is great potential for using weather data to forecast outbreaks of insect pests, particularly because other ability to access and process information from remote-sensing systems is increasing rapidly.
It appears that weather parameters are a critical factor in outbreak development, and thus a good predictor, only in situations where they represent a population-limiting factor. This is seen most frequently with temperature in the temperate zone and rainfall in the tropics.
In many situations, weather may play a very important part in determining the precise epidemiology of an outbreak, although it is not in itself a determinant of the outbreak. Rice leafhoppers and planthoppers and the virus diseases they transmit are an example.
The study of weather systems against the background of the ecology, behavior, and physiology of the insect pest and the distribution of the host plant can lead to improved predictions of dispersal patterns. This type of information can be of value in developing appropriate management strategies. The development of computer-based migration and population models for particular insects will be important in exploiting that forecasting potential.
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Africa, Kenya, insect pest management, survey, sorghum, maize, cowpea, crop borer, intercropping, agronomical practices, plant resistance, biological control farmer, socio-economic conditions
SAXENA, K.N. et al.
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