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Producing sugar beets without neonicotinoids: An evaluation of alternatives for the management of viruses-transmitting aphids

Abstract : Neonicotinoid insecticides have made possible, for three decades, to protect sugar beet crops against aphids and the viruses they transmit. However, they have been accused of reducing biodiversity, leading the European Union to ban the use of neonicotinoid-coated seeds. The requests for exemptions of use, submitted annually by different member states, might soon no longer be granted. Here, we performed a comprehensive analysis of the available alternatives to neonicotinoids for aphid control in sugar beets, following the PICO framework. The abstracts of 3878 references were consulted to evaluate alternative control methods. Of these, we selected 301 scientific publications, keeping only those which provided indications of treatment efficacy against sugar beet aphids. We identified 75 control strategies (products or methods) as possible alternatives to neonicotinoids. Each control strategy was evaluated based on four criteria: efficacy, durability, applicability and practicability. Using these criteria, we highlight 20 methods or products that have both potential as alternative to neonicotinoids and whose short-term use is feasible. These alternative methods include five synthetic and three natural insecticides, two entomopathogenic fungi, two arthropod natural enemies, organic and mineral oils, two plant defense elicitors, three farming practices and the potential of resistant varieties. Most of them provide important, but arguably insufficient, control of aphids if used alone. However, most of them appear to be complementary and compatible with each other. Therefore, integrating strategies will be needed to maintain beet yields while limiting unintended effects on environment and biodiversity.
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Submitted on : Monday, August 1, 2022 - 9:13:07 AM
Last modification on : Friday, September 9, 2022 - 12:00:23 PM


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François Verheggen, Benoit Barrès, Romain Bonafos, Nicolas Desneux, Abraham Escobar-Gutiérrez, et al.. Producing sugar beets without neonicotinoids: An evaluation of alternatives for the management of viruses-transmitting aphids. Entomologia Generalis, 2022, 42 (4), pp.491 - 498. ⟨10.1127/entomologia/2022/1511⟩. ⟨hal-03741244⟩



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