Mario Morales, Danilo Dardon (Guatemala); Richard Edwards (US)
Guatemala is among the countries that have suffered the crisis caused by whitefly, Bemisia spp., in tomato crops. Yield losses in some areas of the country are between 60 and 100%. ICTA and other institutions generated a technological package consisting of 22 integrated pest management (IPM) practices for a solution to this problem. The validation of these IPM practices was conducted among the tomato growers.
The objectives of this research were to: (1) determine the effect of 3 or more tactics in the effective management of the whitefly gemnivirus complex in relation to tomato yield and productivity, compared to the traditional management practices used by the tomato growers in eastern Department of El Progreso. The tactics to be validated in an integrated format were: (1) seedbeds covered in a foamy cloth (anti-aphid covering), (2) tomato seedling grown in newspaper transplant plugs, (3) use of sorghum barriers planted 45 days before tomato transplant, (4) use of plastic traps covered with automobile motor oil every 8 days as sticky agent, and (5) rotational use of insecticides (rotating chemical groups) and sampling of whitefly populations.
The results obtained from the IPM technology in comparison to the tomato growers' were the following: (1) IPM-based production costs of US $ 1,900.00/ha in comparison to US $ 2,600.00/ha in the growers' control, (2) IPM-based profits of US $ 2,300.00/ha in comparison to US $ 570.00/ha obtained by the grower, and (3) IPM-based pesticide sprayings were reduced to 13 compared to 19 and 24 spraying done at San Agust?n Acasaguastl?n and Sanarate, respectively. The results in this study show that the integration of the IPM practices successfully managed whitefly populations, increased tomato yields and profits, and reduced applications of insecticides which results in decreased risk to human health and the environment, and crop production costs.