Re: Potato IPM for Ukraine

At risk of sending hundreds of people to the floor with laughter, I will
a lowcost, lowtech alternative:  self-rising flour..........

Okay, okay, now pick yourselves up off the floor, wipe your eyes and I'll

I've never used it with potatoes, but I have used it successfully in
several east coast US climates in home gardens with any kind of insect that
eats the leaves of plants.  You have to be willing to accept some damage to
the plants, because the way the flour gets into the bug is via eating
leaves that have been dusted with the flour.  And you have to keep the
leaves dusted. But it works.

A entomologist friend tells me that the mechanism is probably the
following: the baking powder (soda?) in the flour (self-rising, remember)
reacts with the acid guts of the insects, creates CO2 and boom! Busted
guts.  I have personally seen the ground littered with hundreds of dead
japanese beetles 24 hours after dusting beans and ornamental bushes during
a particularly heavy beetle season......

I suspect that if it works with potato beetles, it wouldn't take much
ingenuity to create a duster that would work on large fields.  I have no
idea what kind of general environmental impact such a practice would have,
but in my gardens, I've not noticed any particular problems with other,
non-leaf-eating insects.  The good ones seem to still be there.

For what it's worth....


At 09:14 AM 5/15/97 +0000, you wrote:
>Here is one response to your request for information about Colorado 
>Potato Beetle infor for the Ukraine.  Duane Preston is Area Potato 
>Specialist for Minnesota and North Dakota.
>Darnell Lundstrom
>------ Forwarded Message Follows -------
>Date:          Mon, 12 May 1997 22:45:35 -0500
>From:          Duane Preston <dpreston@mes.umn.edu>
>Reply-to:      dpreston@mes.umn.edu
>Organization:  University of Minnesota
>To:            dlundstr@ndsuext.nodak.edu
>Subject:       Re: Potato IPM for Ukraine
>Darnell Lundstrom wrote:
>> Duane and Phil
>> Any thoughts about this request for low tech, low cost,  Colorado
>> Potato Beetle control.  If we have anything, I'm sure we can probably
>> get it translated.  I think we still have some Ukrainians over in
>> Animal Science.
>> Thanks.
>> Darnell
>Darnell, I don't have really any solution for the problem in the
>Ukraine, as they as so short of chemicals and they keep using the same
>ones over and over building up resistance very rapidly, from what I have
>been told from the Minnesota project in Russia.  In fact Dave Noetzal,
>is over in Krasnodor on as assignment at present for Con-Agra, I
>beleive.  You may want to contact Dr. Bill Fenster, in International
>Programs, St Paul for his address etc.
>Only solution I believe would be through Genetic Engineering like
>Monsanto NewLeaf potatoes that have a Bt gene that the beetles won't eat
>the plants.
>I guess they have tried flaming, and I have seen vacuums, but they dont
>seem to work.
>The only sure cure is a can with kerosine in after they are hand picked.
>The best solution is to export some of the millions of cwt. we will be
>dumping across the US. this year.  However, I have worked in enought
>foriegn counties to know that the logistics would not get the fresh
>potatoes to the people before spoiled and the reason why flakes, and
>granules are a better option, where they just add water.
>I probably didn't help much but some different opinions.
>Duane Preston