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Previous research work related to pneumatic control ofColorado potato beetle (CPB) showed that this alternate control means is technically feasible and that it may represent an interesting alternative to chemical means. A four-row prototype machine was designed and built to implement pneumatic control at the field scale. Extensive testing of this machine in the field was completed during a full growing season. The effects of pneumatic control of CPB on the growth of potato plants and on the yields were investigated. Also, the efficiency of a specific pneumatic strategy in controllingCPB was evaluated. Field experiments consisted of: control (no treatment), pneumatic control (once and twice per week), chemical control, and combined chemical and pneumatic control (once and twice per week). Results showed that the use of the pneumatic machine to control the CPB did not have any negative effect on the crop development. The plots treated twice per week with the pneumatic machine gave a comparable yield to the plots chemically treated. However, the use of the pneumatic machine once per week resulted in very low yields. In general, variable CPB control in the plots treated twice per week was achieved by the prototype machine. Nevertheless, the plots treated once per week were rapidly defoliated with the appearance of the large larvae (L3-L4). These results prove that the pneumatic machine could be used to control CPB without affecting the plant growth or yield. However, further improvements of the machine, like the shape of the blowing units, have to be considered in order to better control CPB populations.
C. Lague, M. Khelif and B. Lacasse 1999. EVALUATION OF A FOUR-ROW PROTOTYPE MACHINE FOR PNEUMATIC CONTROL OF COLORADO POTATO BEETLE. Canadian Agricultural Engineering 41(1):47-52.
Canadian Society for Bioengineering