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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2023, Vol. 22 Issue (1): 185-194    DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2022.08.070
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Regional selection of insecticides and fungal biopesticides to control aphids and thrips and improve the forage quality of alfalfa crops

PAN Fan1, 2*, GAO Li-jie2*, ZHU Kai-hui1, DU Gui-lin3, ZHU Meng-meng4, ZHAO Li5, GAO Yu-lin1, TU Xiong-bing1, ZHANG Ze-hua1

1 State Key Laboratory for Biology of Plant Diseases and Insect Pests, Institute of Plant Protection, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100193, P.R.China

2 College of Animal Science and Technology, Hebei Agricultural University, Baoding 071001, P.R.China

3 National Animal and Husbandry Service, Beijing 100125, P.R.China

4 Institute of Plant Protection, Ningxia Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences, Yinchuan 750002, P.R.China

5 College of Agriculture, Xinjiang Agricultural University, Urumqi 830052, P.R.China

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The efficacies of biological and conventional chemical insecticides against two major insect pests of alfalfa (aphids and thrips) were compared in three sites across China’s alfalfa belt.  In addition, the persistence of the residues of chemical insecticides in alfalfa and their influence on the quality of alfalfa hay were examined.  Efficacy varied among the different biological and chemical insecticides.  The chemical insecticides were significantly more effective than biopesticides in a short time-frame.  The efficacy period of biopesticides was significantly longer than that of chemical insecticides, and the corrected mortality rate of aphids in all regions was above 50% at 14 days after application.  The analysis of pesticide residues showed that the residual doses of all the pesticides were within the allowed ranges after the safe period.  The acid detergent fiber and neutral detergent fiber contents in alfalfa hay were higher and the protein content was lower in chemical insecticide treatments than in biopesticide treatments in Hebei.  The relative feeding value of alfalfa hay treated with Metarhizium anisopliae IPP330189 was the highest among the treatments.  Compared with chemical insecticides, the yield of alfalfa hay was higher in the biopesticides treatments.  Biopesticides show a stronger control effect on insect populations and also a better improvement in the quality of alfalfa hay than chemical insecticides.  This study provides a basis for exploring and developing a comprehensive control regime for alfalfa insect pests in the different alfalfa-growing regions in China, and for reducing chemical insecticide usage and improving forage quality.

Keywords:  insect pest control        pollution free control       pesticide residue       aphids       thrips  
Received: 28 October 2021   Accepted: 17 February 2022
Fund: This study was supported by China Agriculture Research System of MOF and MARA (CARS-34).
About author:  Received 28 October, 2021 Accepted 17 February, 2022 PAN Fan, E-mail:; GAO Li-jie, E-mail:; Correspondence TU Xiong-bing, E-mail:; GAO Yu-lin, E-mail: * These authors contributed equally to this study.

Cite this article: 

PAN Fan, GAO Li-jie, ZHU Kai-hui, DU Gui-lin, ZHU Meng-meng, ZHAO Li, GAO Yu-lin, TU Xiong-bing, ZHANG Ze-hua. 2023. Regional selection of insecticides and fungal biopesticides to control aphids and thrips and improve the forage quality of alfalfa crops. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 22(1): 185-194.

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