African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6848

Article in Press

Efficiency and economics of hand-picking for Fall Armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith) management in Maize.

Zemedkun Alemu, Nurhussien Seid, Sileshi Getahun

  •  Received: 04 April 2022
  •  Accepted: 24 May 2022
Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith) is an invasive insect pest and a major maize production bottleneck since 2016 in Ethiopia. A field experiment was undertaken in 2019/20 at Werer Agricultural Center to assess the effectiveness and economics of handpicking against S. frugiperda management on maize at Middle-Awash, Ethiopia. The treatments consisted of nine laid out into a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) and replicated thrice. The results revealed that significant differences (P < 0.05) were observed among the treatments for cob length, cob weight, cob yield, 1000-seed grain weight, and grain yield. Grain yields were at least 1.51 tons lower in unprotected checks than in varied handpicking times and chemical treatments. Significantly (P< 0.05) higher plant damage levels were observed in unprotected check plots (4.3) than at different handpicking managements and chemical treatments (1.1-3.6). The findings suggest that using different handpicking interval periods to manage the S. frugiperda pest on maize in Middle Awash, Ethiopia, is not cost-effective or time-consuming. A chemical insecticidal application is the most effective way to control the infestation. To combat the S. frugiperda pest, environmentally safe, bio-rational pesticides, as well as natural augmentative release and traditional biological management tactics, should be used.

Keywords: Spodoptera frugiperda; profitability; partial budget analysis