Research works to identify pest in cowpea plantations

The fly, still unidentified, devoured entire cowpea plantations in southeastern Piauí

16.05.2023 | 15:39 (UTC -3)
Embrapa
The fly, still unidentified, devoured entire cowpea plantations in southeastern Piauí; Photo: Patrícia Rocha
The fly, still unidentified, devoured entire cowpea plantations in southeastern Piauí; Photo: Patrícia Rocha

Embrapa Meio-Norte (Teresina/PI) is committed to identifying a species of fly that has been destroying entire plantations of cowpea (cowpea) in the southeast of Piauí. The fly, black in color and smaller than house flies, was found in the municipalities of Pio IX and Ipiranga do Piauí, a month ago, by inspectors from the Agricultural Defense Agency of Piauí (Adapi). It destroys the grains while they are still in the pod.

 Then, researchers Paulo Henrique Soares (Entomologist) and Cândido Athayde Sobrinho (phytopathologist) were in the municipalities and saw the insects' attack on bean plantations up close. They participated in this task force together with inspectors Paulo Segundo and Ozael Valério, coordinator and manager of Plant Defense at Adapi, respectively.

Embrapa scientists are working to discover the origin of the fly and develop efficient control of the pest, thus reducing crop losses and losses for farmers. “There is no established deadline for completing the study,” said Soares.

Producer José de Melo, from the Guariba II settlement, in Pio IX, guaranteed that he harvested eight bags of string beans last February and the “grains were normal”. According to him, this type of insect has never been seen before in the region. The municipalities of Pio IX and Ipiranga do Piauí today have around one thousand small farmers who live directly from the production and sale of grains, such as corn and beans.

Bean pests

The bean pests most cited in entomological literature are: Elasmus caterpillar, Thread caterpillar, Green leafhopper, White fly, Cowflies, Leaf caterpillar, Leafminer fly, Spider mite, White mite, Pod caterpillars and Weevils. The whitefly (Bemisia tabaci) is the most problematic, with the transmission of the bean golden mosaic virus and the cowpea smooth mottle virus, which can cause considerable losses in productivity.

LS Tractor February