Effect of Silicon-Based Fertilizer Applications on Reproduction and Development of Arthropod Pests Associated with Horticultural Crops – Part 1
Silicon-based fertilizers to improve plant tolerance of insects
Greenhouse producers are continually searching for and/or requesting alternative systems to control insect and mite pest populations. They do not want to rely solely on insecticides and/or miticides and, thus, can avoid resistance. A “potential pest management strategy” that has been discussed in trade magazines involves applying silicon-based fertilizers to improve plant tolerance to insect feeding and thus reduce feeding damage. Several articles have made claims that silicon applications may avoid insect outbreaks. However, there is minimal quantitative research to support these claims. The protective role of silicon associated with disease resistance is well documented; whereas, there is relatively little information concerning silicon’s affiliation with resistance to insect pests. Thus, we decided to determine if silicon-based fertilizer applications negatively impact the life history parameters of the phloem-feeding insect pest; the citrus mealybug (Planococcus citri).
Source: • American Floral Endowment Special Research Reports #209