Control strategies for cotton weevil ( Anthonomus grandis Boheman) in the Colombian Caribbean: A conceptual model. / Estrategias de control del picudo del algodón (Anthonomus grandis Boheman) en el Caribe Colombiano: Un modelo conceptual.

Abstract

The cotton weevil Anthonomus grandis Boheman (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) is the main cotton pest [Gossypium hirsutum L. (Malvaceae)] in the producing regions of the Americas. In the Colombian Caribbean it is the main economic constraint for cotton production. Population explosions of this pest are frequent in the Caribbean, resulting in the application of up to 15 insecticides to control the weevil during the cotton season and the prohibition of planting the crop in some localities. Most of the information for the management of this pest corresponds to multiple sources of gray literature (technical reports) and non-formalized knowledge developed by farmers and technical assistants. This study collects this information using a standardized approach to participatory construction of conceptual models for agricultural systems. The conceptual model developed in this study integrates the non-formalized local knowledge obtained from knowledge experts and technical reports with scientific disciplinary knowledge related to cotton weevil management strategies. The collected data was evaluated and organized under a systems approach that facilitates the future development of quantitative models and allows the visualization of knowledge gaps. The system described by the model includes two subsystems: biological and technical. This last subsystem describes the management of the palm weevil on two spatio-temporal scales: the field scale management (in the field) carried out during the cotton season and the regional strategy (part of the national program) of suppression of the cotton palm weevil directed mainly at control insect populations that survive between cotton seasons. The construction of this conceptual model allowed visualizing the management strategies currently used in weevil control, formulating hypotheses about the effectiveness of management strategies, and providing guidelines for future research. This conceptual model is a baseline for the development of quantitative models and simulations that describe the management of the cotton weevil in the Caribbean and for the effective formulation of an integrated management program for this pest in the region.

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