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several ecological, environmental and socioeconomic problems. Green revolution technology relied on the use of dwarf and semi dwarf high-yielding varieties of crops, increased use of agrochemicals and irrigation. All these practices favoured the build-up of crop pests, with the result that the intensity of several pests has increased, many minor pests have assumed the status of major pests and several new pest problems have appeared in certain regions. In addition, the misuse and overuse of pesticides has lead to problems of pesticide resistance, resurgence and contamination of different components of the environment. In spite of a variety of control measures applied against pests, crop losses have consistently shown an increasing trend (Dhaliwal and Koul, 2010). The introduction of gene technology has added a new dimension to pest management. There are varied claims and counter-claims about the potential of gene technology in shaping the crop protection scenario in the twenty-first century (Dhaliwal, 2008; James, 2009). In addition, the climate change exerts a profound effect on the intensity of pest problems (Ramamurthy et al., 2009). Hence, there is considerable shift in insect pest problems and crop losses, which form the focus of this paper. Pest Problems Food plants of the world are damaged by more than 10,000 species of insects, 30,000 species of weeds, 100,000 diseases (caused by fungi, viruses, bacteria and other microorganisms) and 1000 species of nematodes (Hall, 1995; Dhaliwal et al., 2007). However, less than 10 per cent of the total identified pest species are generally considered as major pests. The severity of pest problems has been changing with the developments in agricultural technology and modifications of farming practices. The changing scenario of insect pest problems in agriculture as a consequence of green revolution technology has been well documented (Dhaliwal et al., 1985; Singh and Dhaliwal, 1991; Dhaliwal and Arora, 1993; Arora and Dhaliwal, 1996; Dhaliwal et al., 2002; Singh et al., 2002; Puri and Mote, 2003; Kumar, 2005; Dhaliwal and Arora, 2006; Dhaliwal and Koul, 2010). There has been further shift in the status of several insect pests after the introduction of transgenic crops and the current scenario of climate change. The pest scenario in cotton ecosystem is changing fast and is assailed by multitude of pests as it evolves through various production levels. American and spotted bollworms attained secondary pest status, and tobacco caterpillar, pink bollworm, mirids and mealy bugs are emerging as major pests. Sap sucking pests like aphids, jassids, thrips and whiteflies are major pests and economically important. Adoption of Bt cotton has not only changed the cultivation profile, but also the pest scenario. While there is a decline in the pest status of bollworms; the sap feeders, viz. aphids, jassids, mirids and mealy bugs are emerging as serious pests (Vennila, 2008). Recently, mirid bugs, Ragmus spp. and Creontiades biseratense (Distant) appeared in epidemic form in Dharwar (Karnataka) and Coimbatote (Tamil Nadu). Also, some of the minor pests like thrips, Thrips tabaci Linderman; shoot weevil, Alcidodes affaber Aurivillius and stem weevil, Pempherulus affinis
(Faust) are becoming serious on Bt cotton (Sarode et al., 2009). Various species of mealy bugs have started appearing in serious proportions on field crops, vegetables, fruits and ornamentals (Tanwar et al., 2007). In fact, mealy bugs have become indicator insects for the current ecosystem alterations due to slow changes in climate during the period from 2002 to 2005. Among these, Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley on cotton and Paracoccus marginatus Williams and Granara de Willink on papaya have become quite serious. The papaya mealy bug, P. marginatus, has become quite alarming in Tamil Nadu, challenging the pesticides or other IPM measures. Maconellicoccus hirsutus (Green) causes extensive damage to ornamentals, though its host range extends to 76 families and over 200 genera, including beans, Chrysanthemum, citrus, coconut, coffee, cotton, croton, cucumber, grape, groundnut, guava, Hibiscus, maize, mulberry, pumpkin and rose (Tanwar et al., 2007; Rajendran, 2009) The mealy bug, P. solenopsis was observed for the first time on cotton in USA by Fuchs et al. (1991). It was recorded on Solanum muricatum in Chile (Larrain, 2002) and tomato in Brazil (Culik and Gullan, 2005). This insect has also been reported for the first time from Nigeria, Benin and Camaroon in West Africa; Pakistan, Thailand and Taiwan in Asia and from New Cabedonia in the Pacific (Hodgson et al., 2008). Abbas et al. (2005) also reported Phenacoccus gossypiphilious Stanley (considered to be misnomer), severely infecting cotton crop in the cotton growing provinces of Pakistan in 2005. During 2006, P. solenopsis appeared for the first time on cotton crop in Punjab and caused sever losses in some pockets of Ferozepur, Muktsar and Bhatinda districts (Dhawan and Saini, 2009). Since then this pest has spread to several states like Haryana, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Gujarat and southern states (Atwal and Dhaliwal, 2009; Nagrare et al., 2009). Besides cotton, P. solenopsis has been recorded on several economic crops like okra, tomato, brinjal, chilli, grape, fig, datepalm, apple, avocado, banana, citrus, etc. (Mohindru et al., 2009). Recently, a nymphal parasitoid, Aenasius bambawalei Hayat, of P. solenopsis has been recorded (Hayat, 2009), which caused upto more than 80 per cent parasitization on cotton (Ram et al., 2009) and 30 per cent on tomato (Mohindru et al., 2009). Helicoverpa armigera (Hubner) had become a menace in pulse growing regions and started causing considerable damage to chickpea and pigeonpea. The last epidemic of H. armigera on these crops was reported in 2001. However, after the introduction of Bt cotton in 2002 and its subsequent rapid adoption, its infestation in these crops has significantly declined in the cotton-based cropping systems. H. armigera sequently moves from cotton to pigeonpea and then to chickpea. As H. armigera is not able to survive on Bt cotton, its cycle gets disrupted and there is no significant movement of the pest from cotton-to-pigeonpea-to-chickpea (Bambawale et al., 2009). As Bt cotton does not provide protection against tobacco caterpillar, Spodoptera litura (Fabricius), it continues to inflict heavy losses in several cotton growing regions of India.
Recently, there was an outbreak of S. litura on soybean in Kota region of Rajasthan and a loss of Rs 300 crore was estimated. The pest also struck in epidemic form on soybean in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra in August 2008 and caused widespread losses (Dhaliwal and Koul, 2010). Moreover, the intensity of S. litura is likely to further increase under the potential climate change, as it has been found to consume more than 30 per cent cotton leaves at elevated CO2 levels (Kranthi et al., 2009). Outbreaks of S. litura were also noticed in major sunflower growing areas of Central and Southern India. During 2005, the outbreak of S. litura led to more than 90 per cent defoliation of sunflower cultivar germplasm (Sujatha and Lakshminarayana, 2007). Invasion of sugarcane woolly aphid, Ceratovacuna lanigera Zehntner in Maharashtra in 2002 is another example of pestâ s reaction to climate change and getting mostly naturally regulated. The woolly aphid was first detected in India in West Bengal in 1958, but it quickly disappeared in 1960. The aphid again appeared in epidemic form in July, 2002 in Sangli Province of Maharashtra. It spread to other parts of Maharashtra covering an area of 1.43 lakh hectares by March, 2003. Later it migrated to throughout the state except Konkan region and gradually spread to parts of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh (Bade and Ghorpade, 2009). In Karnataka, it was first detected in August 2002 in Athani, Belgaum. However, within a short span of next 12 months, it quickly spread to Bagalkot, Gulbarga, Bidar, Bijapur, Haveri, Dharwad, Davangere and down south in Shimoga (Bambawale et al., 2009). A sudden infestation of sugarcane woolly aphid was recorded in January 2006 in the mid country hills of Badulla, Sri Lanka after its first outbreak in 1905. Subsequent outbreaks were recorded during November and December of the same year in other areas (Kumarasinghe and Basnayake, 2009). The diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (Linnaeus), has consistently remained the most destructive insect pest of crucifer vegetables worldwide. The major outbreaks of P. xylostella are more likely in the fields that are sprayed frequently and heavily with insecticides. The absence of natural enemies and fast development of insecticide resistance are believed to b e the major causes of increasing pest status of P. xylostella in most parts of the world. Currently, this insect has become resistant to almost all classes of insecticides used against it in south-east Asian countries (Dhaliwal and Koul, 2010). An outbreak of diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (Linnaeus) on cauliflower was reported in Aligarh, western part of Uttar Pradesh, during September to first fortnight of October during 2006. The infestation increased gradually from first fortnight of August and lead to total loss (100 % yield loss) of the crop (Ahmed et al., 2009). Moreover, the current climatic change may lead to increase in severity of this pest in many regions of the world. For instance, P. xylostella may have two additional generations per year in Japan (Cheri, 2007) There are indications of shift of insect pests of plantation crops to new crops and new areas. The rhinoceros beetle, Oryctes rhinoceros (Linnaeus) is an established pest of coconut palms in India. Quite recently, it has become a problem for oil palm in southern states of India. The
incidence of the pest in oil palm plantations closer to natural forest areas has been noticed at many places. Tea mosquito bug, Helopeltis antonii Signoret is a serious constraint in cashew (west coast-Kerala, Karnataka, and east coast-Tamil Nadu). Cashew tracts of Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Orissa are free from this pest. The hot spot areas of the bug across the cashew tract of the whole country have been demarcated, taking into consideration the optimum temperature during flushing and following stages. The pest may spread to new areas under current scenario of climate change and states like Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Orissa may come under this pest attack in the changed situation (Gupta et al., 2009). A list of insect and non-insect pests which can assume serious proportions in future due to changes in the ecosystems and habitats is given in Table1. Recently, Tabashnik et al. (2008) has reported the occurrence of resistance in Bt cotton to Helicoverpa zea (Boddie) in Arkansas and Mississippi states of USA. There are also indications of development of resistance in H. armigera in parts of China (Wang et al., 2009) and occasional reports of survival of H. armigera on Bt cotton in Australia (Downes et al., 2007) and India (Kranthi et al., 2009). Therefore, H. armigera may again reemerge as major pest of cotton if the resistance in Bt cotton breaks down. In addition, some alien and new pests could become invasive and some secondary pests could assume serious proportions. Some of the examples include sugarcane wolly aphid, C. lanigera; coconut eriophyiid mite, Aceria guerreronis Keifer; coffee berry borer, Hypothenemus hampei (Ferrari); sapoda seed borer, Trymalitis margarias Meyrick; spiralling whitefly, Aleurodicus disperses Russell and serpentine leafminer, Liriomyza trifolii (Burgess) (Puri and Ramamurthy, 2009). The recent epidemic of S. litura on soybean in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra in August 2008 and outbreak of brown Table 1. List of insect pests likely to become serious due to changes in ecosyst ems and habitats Insect pest Scientific name Crop(s) American bollworm Helicoverpa armigera (Hubner) Cotton, chickpea, pigeonpea, sun flower, tomato Whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) Cotton, tobacco Brown planthopper Nilaparvata lugens (Stal) Rice Green leafhopper Nephotettix spp. Rice Serpentine leaf miner Liriomyza trifolii (Burgess) Cotton, tomato, cucurbits, se veral other vegetables Fruit fly Bactrocera spp. Fruits and vegetables Mealy bugs Several species Several field and horticultural crops Thrips Several species Groundnut, cotton, chillies, roses, grapes, citrus and pomegranate Wheat aphid Macrosiphum miscanthi (Takahashi) Wheat, barley, oats Pink stem borer Sesamia inferens (Walker) Wheat Gall midge Orseolia oryzae (Wood-Mason) Rice Gall midge Several species Fruit crops Diamondback moth Plutella xylostella (Linnaeus) Cabbage Hoppers Several species Mango Pyrilla Pyrilla perpusilla (Walker) Sugarcane or rice at times Polyphagous pests like Several species Many agroecosystems termites, whitegrubs, hairy caterpillars and tobacco caterpillar plant-hopper, Nilaparvata lugens (Stal) on basmati rice in
Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh during SeptemberOctober 2008, were mainly due to favourable prevailing weather conditions (Bambawale et al., 2009) Crop Losses Despite the annual investment of US $35,000 for the application of there million metric tonnes of pesticides, plus the use of various biological and other non-chemical controls worldwide, global crop losses remain a matter of concern (Pimentel, 2007, 2009). Although crop protection aims to avoid or prevent crop losses or to reduce them to economically acceptable losses, the availability of quantitative data on the effect of different categories of pests is very limited. The first attempt to estimate crop losses due to various pests on global scale was made by Cramer (1967). Subsequently, Oerke et al. (1994) made extensive study to estimate losses in principal food and cash crops. In spite of the wide spread use of synthetic pesticides and other control measures, the losses due to insect and mite pests increased in post-green revolution era (Oerke et al.,1994) than in pre-green revolution era (Cramer, 1967) (Table 2). Worldwide total preharvest losses for post-green revolution era (1988 through 1990) period value at US $90 billion for eight principal food and cash crops (barley, coffee, cotton, maize, potato, rice, soybean and wheat) (Benedict, 2003). Table 2. Worldwide crop losses (%) due to insect and mite pests during pre- and post-green revolution era Crop Pre-green Post-green Changes in revolution revolution loss (2-1) (1965) (1) (1988-90) (2) Barley 3.9 8.8 + 4.9 Cotton 16.0 15.4 - 0.6 Maize 13.0 14.5 + 1.5 Potatoes 5.9 16.1 + 10.2 Rice 27.5 20.7 - 6.8 Soybean 4.4 10.4 + 6.0 Wheat 5.1 9.3 + 4.2 Average 10.8 13.6 + 2.8 Source: Benedict (2003) Since crop production technology and especially crop protection methods are changing, Oerke (2006) updated the loss data for major food and cash crops for the period 2001-03. The actual losses due to various pests have been estimated as 26-29 per cent for soybean, wheat and cotton, and 31, 37 and 40 per cent for maize, rice and potatoes, respectively (Table 3). Thus, there is a decline in global crop losses due to various pests from 42.1 per cent during 1988-90 to 32.1 per cent during 2001-03. The corresponding decline in loss due to animal pests, weeds and pathogens was from 15.6 to 10.8, 13.2 to 8.8 and 13.3 to 12.5 per cent, respectively. Table 3. Current global losses (%) due to various categories of pests in major crops Crop Animal Weeds Pathogens Viruses Total pests Cotton 12.3 8.6 7.2 0.7 28.8 Maize 9.6 10.5 8.5 2.7 31.3 Potatoes 10.9 8.3 14.5 6.6 40.3 Rice 15.1 10.2 10.8 1.4 37.5 Soybean 8.8 7.5 8.9 1.2 26.4
Wheat 7.9 7.7 10.2 2.4 28.2 Average 10.8 8.8 10.0 2.5 32.1 Source: Oerke (2006) Losses due to insect pests in Indian agriculture have been estimated from time to time (Pradhan, 1964; Krishnamurthy and Murty, 1983; Atwal, 1986, Jayaraj, 1993; Lal, 1996; Dhaliwal and Arora, 1996, 2002; Dhaliwal et al., 2003, 2004). In general, the losses in post-green revolution era (Dhaliwal et al., 2004) have shown an increasing trend than in the pre-green revolution era (Pradhan, 1964). Overall, the losses increased from 7.2 per cent in early 1960s to 23.3 per cent in early 2000s (Table 4). The maximum increase in loss occurred in cotton (18.0 to 50.0 %), followed by other crops like sorghum and millets (3.5 to 30.0 %), maize (5.0 to 25.0 %) and oilseeds (other than groundnut) (5.0 to 25.0 %). Table 4. Crop losses (%) due to insect pests during pre- and post-green revolution in India Crop Pre-green Post-green Changes revolution (early revolution (early in loss 1960s) (1) 2000s) (2) (2-1) Cotton 18.0 50.0 + 32.0 Groundnut 5.0 15.0 + 10.0 Other oilseeds 5.0 25.0 + 20.0 Pulses 5.0 15.0 + 10.0 Rice 10.0 25.0 + 15.0 Maize 5.0 25.0 + 20.0 Sorghum and millets 3.5 30.0 + 26.5 Wheat 3.0 5.0 + 2.0 Sugarcane 10.0 20.0 + 10.0 Average 7.2 23.3 + 16.1 Source: Dhaliwal et al. (2007) There has been a paradigm shift in the crop management scenario of Indian agriculture since the beginning of this century. Bt cotton was released in the country in 2002 and the area under Bt cotton increased Table 5. Estimation of crop losses caused by insect pests to major agricultural crops in India Crop Actual Approximate estimated loss in yield Hypothetical Monetary value production* production in the of estimated (million tonnes) Percentage Total absence of losses losses (million tonnes) (million tonnes) (million Rs) Cotton 44.03 30 18.9 62.9 339660 Rice 96.7 25 32.2 128.9 240138 Maize 19 20 4.8 23.8 29450 Sugarcane 348.2 20 87.1 435.3 70667 Rapeseed-mustard 5.8 20 1.5 7.3 26100 Groundnut 9.2 15 1.6 10.8 25165 Other oilseeds 14.7 15 2.6 17.3 35851 Pulses 14.8 15 2.6 17.4 43551 Coarse cereals 17.9 10 2.0 19.9 11933 Wheat 78.6 5 4.1 82.7 41368 Total/Average 17.5 863884 *Production and minimum support price (MSP) fixed by Government of India for 200 7-08, are adapted from Anonymous (2010from 50,000 ha in 2002 to 8.4 million ha i n 2009. Of the estimated 9.6 million ha of cotton in India, 87 per cent was under Bt cotton in 2009 (James, 2009). Secondly, concerted efforts were made to implement integrated pest management programmes in principal food and cash crops.
As a result of these developments, losses due to insect pests in several agricultural crops have shown a declining trend (Table 5). However, in terms of monetary value, the decline in losses does not appear to be prominent. This is due to both the increase in production levels as well as the increase in prices of different commodities.
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