pests, bioinsecticide, yield.
Objective: To evaluate the soil cover with corn-neem biomass for the Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) management in the INIAP H601 corn hybrid, at Pechiche, Los Ríos, Ecuador.
Design/Methodology/Approach: Two treatments were evaluated: 1) a treatment using corn-neem soil cover at 2.0 t ha-1 before sowing, plus two foliar applications, 10 and 20 days after sowing; 2) a control treatment without soil cover, in a completely randomized design. The variables evaluated were the percentage of corn plants with 1st to 3rd degree damage and 4th to 5th degree damage (30 days after sowing), Leaf Area Index (LAI), and agricultural yield.
Results: Under field conditions, both treatments had no significative differences in the 1st to 3rd degrees damages (69.0% impact). However, there were significative differences in the 4th to 5th degree damages (31.0 %) in the control and the soil cover (15.0 %). Additionally, LAI and dry grain yield were higher. There was a linear but inverse relationship regarding LAI and yield in plants with 4th to 5th degree damage.
Limitations/Implications: The availability of neem tree biomass could be a limitation, if this technology is applied to larger land areas.
Findings/Conclusions: Corn-neem soil cover plus a foliar application decreased the Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) impact and increased LAI and agricultural yield.