THE Benguet State University through the Horticulture Research and Training Institute in collaboration with the College of Agriculture conducted training on Biological Control; Knowing Pest Management in Crop Production at the Chrysanthemum Hall on July 12, 2018 participated by students, researchers and farmers organizations.

Prof. Bonie Ligat gave brief background and principles and processes of biological control. He focused on predators like two spotted spider mites (TSSM) and others, the farmers usually encounter in the field stating its biology, behaviours and injuries and damages caused by them.

He further introduce predatory mites as one of the biological agents – their growth stages and daily consumption on TSSM. Also their field efficacy on managing TSSM of organically grown strawberry and mentioned other beneficial insects that would help eliminate pests like parasitoids and entomopathogens during his lecture.

Dr. Asuncion Nagpala lectured on different diseases of vegetables encountered by farmers. She also stated the symptoms of these diseases like seedling diseases caused by fungi and root diseases on cabbage, powdery mildew on potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, beans and other vegetables. Further she mentioned the basic management and eradication of such diseases which will help farmers minimize loss.

Dr. Nordalyn Pedroche discussed beneficial nematodes and their benefits to farmers emphasizing that beneficial nematodes only attack soil dwelling insects like pest bugs and grubs and leave plants and earthworms alone. She stated that application was good early in the morning or late afternoon when soil temperature is not that high and usually done during dry season.

The first site is the predatory mites which were set up in front of the HORTI office. The participants were able to see the predators clearly using the microscope. Magnifying lenses were also used to see other pests on strawberry plants. The next location was at the Biocon Laboratory where demonstration of rearing beneficial nematodes was clearly introduced. Also the participants were given chances to look into the microscope for clearer pictures of the nematodes. The last destination was at the greenhouse where procedures of using trichoderma to treat soil borne diseases were introduced to participants.