Research Article Open Access

Field Evaluation of a Pneumatic Prototype Machine Designed to Control the Colorado Potato Beetle in Potato Crops

Saad Almady1,2 and Mohamed Khelifi1
  • 1 Department of Soils and Agri-Food Engineering, Université Laval, Quebec City, QC G1V 0A6, Canada
  • 2 Department of Agricultural Engineering, College of Food and Agriculture Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia

Abstract

The Colorado Potato Beetle (CPB), Leptinotarsa decemlineata Say, 1824, is a major insect pest of potato plants. It can greatly reduce potato yields if left uncontrolled. The most effective method of controlling the CPB is to apply chemical insecticides during its life cycle. However, the CPB tends to develop resistance to chemicals. Therefore, its control is difficult. This has prompted researchers to explore alternatives to insecticides. The use of pneumatic methods to control the CPB could considerably reduce the environmental impacts of insecticide applications and the need for farmers to handle toxic products. The objective of this study was to investigate the impact of a CPB pneumatic prototype machine on potato plant growth and tuber yield as well as its efficacy in controlling the CPB. Three airflow velocities (45, 50, and 55 m/s) and two travel speeds (5 and 6 km/h) were tested. The measured variables in organic and pneumatic control plots were CPB populations at different life stages, potato plant height, dry matter, Leaf Area Index (LAI), and tuber yield. The results indicated that the use of the pneumatic prototype machine to control the CPB had no significant negative impact on potato plant growth (height, dry matter, and LAI). Tuber yields were comparable to those obtained in the control plots and the prototype machine was highly effective in dislodging the CPB. These results confirm those obtained in 2018 and suggest that this innovative prototype pneumatic machine could efficiently control the CPB and significantly contribute to reducing the use of chemical insecticides.

American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Volume 17 No. 1, 2022, 98-106

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3844/ajabssp.2022.98.106

Submitted On: 23 June 2022 Published On: 26 December 2022

How to Cite: Almady, S. & Khelifi, M. (2022). Field Evaluation of a Pneumatic Prototype Machine Designed to Control the Colorado Potato Beetle in Potato Crops. American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences, 17(1), 98-106. https://doi.org/10.3844/ajabssp.2022.98.106

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Keywords

  • Leptinotarsa decemlineata
  • Potato
  • Pneumatic Control
  • Airflow Velocity
  • Travel Speed