Effects of Endosulfan to be studied

The Union Minister for Agriculture, Ajit Singh, has said that protection of the environment should be of prime concern and any adverse effects on account of the use of Endosulfan would be properly inquired into so that a suitable solution could be found.

(Courtesy- The Hindu, July, 3)

Kerala govt. keeps ban on endosulphan

The Kerala government clarified that the ban on endosulphan insecticides that caused serious health hazards in northern Kasaragod district has not been lifted. The spraying of endosulphan in plantation corporation farms had been banned since February.

(Courtesy-The Economic Times)

Botanical insecticides for effective plant protection

Neem is a very popular tree, yielding a number of insecticides derived from its leaves, bark and seeds. Botanical insecticides are the most cost effective and environmentally safe inputs in integrated pest management (IPM) strategies. There are about 3000 plants and trees with insecticidal and repellant properties in the world, and India is home to about 70% of this floral wealth, according to Dr. P. Narayanasamy, Professor of Entomology at the College of Agriculture, Annamalai University, Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu. The neem seed kernel extracts, neem oil, extracts from the leaves and barks have all been used since ancient times to keep scores of insect pests at bay. Neem oil and extracts are also extensively used in ayurvedic medicine and veterinary medicine. A number of commercial neem-based insecticides are now available and they have displaced several toxic chemical insecticides.

Neem derivatives are now extensively used in integrated pest management strategies. The use of neem leaves and powdered kernels in managing the pests of stored products and grains is also well known. Powdered neem cake is widely used in ecological farms as a sound soil amendment to act as a source of nutrients and also an insecticide to manage the soil-borne pests and pathogens.

Agricultural scientists have found that neem products can be used to effectively manage over 120 different insect species that attack crops and stored products. Thus neem retains its unique place among the plant kingdom as the most popular botanical insecticide and repellant used in agriculture of the past and present.

Turmeric, garlic, Vitex negundo, glyricidia, castor, Aristolochia, ginger, Agave Americana, custard apple, Datura, Calotropis, Ipomoea and coriander are some of the other widely used botanicals to control and repel crop pests.

A number of plants are also used as trap crops and as repellants. Simple extracts from these plants (either from the leaves, barks or seeds) are used as insecticides and repellants. Farmers should pay particular attention while using botanical insecticides for effective management of the crop pests. They should use freshly prepared formulations.

(Courtesy- The Hindu)

Neem-safe pesticides

Neem (Azadirachta Indica) is found to be the most promising source for production of safe pesticides. A solution under the name "Aum Neemplus" containing Neem Extract as well as other herbal ingredients has been formulated. The solution prepared was tested at the R&D centre of Aum Consultancy. Aum Neemplus acts as pesticides (fungicide and insecticide) vector spray and a growth enhancer. Some of the important pests, Helicoverpa armigera infecting chickpea, jdioscopus nitidulus in green gram, lylenchulus semipenetrans on citrus, mango malformation, leaf roller menance in cotton, red rot of sugarcane, stem borer etc. were tested and aum neemplus proved to be very effective against them. Aum vector spray is another product developed, which is very effective against domestic pests. Aum Neemplus is one of the best Neem based products available in the market.

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