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New Zealand Plant Protection 59 (2006): 304-311

Field application of biopolymer-coated Beauveria bassiana F418 for clover root weevil (Sitona lepidus) control in Waikato and Manawatu

M. Brownbridge, T.L. Nelson, D.L. Hackell, T.M. Eden, D.J. Wilson, B.E. Willoughby and T.R. Glare

ABSTRACT

Clover root weevil (CRW) (Sitona lepidus) continues to have a severe impact on white clover in pastures in the North Island of New Zealand. Trials were established in October 2005 as part of a continuing evaluation of the insect-pathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana F418 strain for management of this pest. F418 was applied as a rice + biopolymer formulation, targeting CRW larvae in the clover root feeding zone (3-5 cm below the surface). Overall, there was a reduction in CRW numbers at all of the test sites. The number of larvae recovered was significantly lower in F418-treated than control plots after 3 weeks, and the number of pupae was similarly lower in F418 than control plots after 6 weeks. Higher levels of fungal propagules were recovered from 0-6 cm in the soil profile than 6-10 cm.

Keywords: clover root weevil, Beauveria bassiana, biopolymer-coated rice, formulation, biological control.

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