Potential for yield loss reduction and profitability assessment of pesticide control of groundnut leaf miner among soybean genotypes
Groundnut leaf miner (GLM) is currently a threat to soybean production in Uganda due to the great yield losses as a result of the severe damage it causes on leaves leading to reduced photosynthetic area. GLM is a fairly new pest on soybean in Uganda, having initially been observed in soybean fields in 2011 in eastern Uganda. The objective of this study was to determine the yield loss caused by the groundnut leaf miner and effectiveness and profitability of commonly used pesticides for the control of the groundnut leaf miner (Aproaerema modicella Deventer) (GLM), when tested with popular soybean (Glycine max) genotypes grown in Uganda. In a split plot RCBD design, pesticide protection (treated vs. untreated) formed the main plots; and six commercial soybean varieties (Maksoy 1N, 2N, 3N, 4N, 5N; and Namsoy 4M) as subplots. The study was done in two locations in eastern Uganda (Iki Iki District Agricultural Training and Information Centre (Iki Iki DATIC) and National Semi-Arid Resources Research Institute, Serere (NaSARRI) with two planting rounds at Iki Iki. These sites were chosen because they are hot spots for GLM. GLM severity and soybean yield were significantly affected by the pesticide protection. Overall, percentage grain yield losses caused by GLM on the different soybean varieties ranged from 37.3% to 65.7% and the highest loss was displayed by Maksoy 5N. Grain yield loss recorded at Iki Iki DATIC (53.1%) was remarkably higher than that recorded at the NaSARRI (49.1%). Economic analysis showed marginal returns to be dependent on location, with the Iki Iki DATIC having 0.6 and NaSARRI 1.1. This study has shown that the groundnut leaf miner, a recently emergent pest of soybean is becoming a big threat to soybean production and that chemical control alone may not be economical in managing the pest.
Key words: Aproaerema modicella, Glycine max, marginal returns, Uganda