Grower Acceptance of Entomopathogenic Nematodes: Case Studies on Three Continents
Projects to manage arthropod pests using entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) in Brazil, Korea and USA are reviewed to identify conditions and practices that affected the use of EPNs for pest management. A proliferation of covered agriculture in Korea, the growth in demand for high value, pesticide-free produce in Korea and Brazil, and the cost-effectiveness of EPNs created favorable conditions for the widespread adoption of EPN products in Brazilian guava orchards and Korean vegetable greenhouses. In Florida, EPNs imported from South America function successfully as classical biocontrol agents against invasive mole crickets attacking pasture and turf. However, the low value of pasture and the availability of cost-effective chemical insecticides in turf have depressed the demand for EPN products to control mole crickets. In Florida citrus orchards, a recent, dramatic increase in the use of chemical insecticides to control an arthropod vector of a devastating bacterial disease of citrus (huanglongbing) reduced the demand for EPN products to control Diaprepes root weevils. Nevertheless, a rich and diverse EPN fauna in the Florida peninsula provides significant control of subterranean stages of root weevils in some habitats, and is the focus of research to develop cultural practices that exploit the potential for increased pest management through EPN conservation.