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Entomology mission to North Sumatra, Indonesia, Socfindo Group Estates : Entomology problems in the Group II estates. Report on the mission from 21 September to 2 October 2003

Ollivier L.. 2004. Montpellier : CIRAD-CP, 2 vol. (60,92 p.). numero_rapport: CP_SIC 1732.

This first entomology/crop protection mission was carried out under the technical assistance contract signed with Socfindo. This was a fact-finding mission intended to gain a picture of the main entomology problems affecting the Socfindo oil palm estates. Pests implicated at three estates, Tanah Gambus, Mata Pao and Bangun Bandar, were identified and assessed. I was able to familiarize myself with the methods used to control pests and limit there outbreaks in space and time: - against Oryctes rhinoceros (Col. Scarabaeidae): land preparation before planting (cover crop), chemical treatment with Marshal, bole and terminal bud protection with plastic bags, etc. - against Limacodidae and Psychidae: regular inspections and treatment when the critical attack threshold is reached, chemical treatment by root uptake, chemical treatment by spraying, etc. - against rats: application of poisoned baits in the estates. Trials designed to enhance knowledge of O. rhinoceros behaviour have been proposed in order to make some headway in establishing effective control, and in defining a strategy that sets out not only to reduce the Oryctes population level, but especially to decrease substantially the level of attacks on oil palms. Physical protection of young palms is proposed. Lastly, trapping with chemical attractants was assessed in a trial, in order to optimize use of this tool. Biological control is touched upon for Limacodidae, but particular attention needs to be paid to the respective cycles of the leaf-eating caterpillars involved. As for controlling rats in oil palm plantations, Tyto alba is a good candidate for regulating rat populations by installing and extending nesting-boxes in the estates. Particular attention was paid to the pollinating insect Elaeidobius kamerunicus (Col. Curculionidae) which, through its population dynamics, could be responsible for imperfect fruit-setting. A preliminary study conducted with birdlimed traps in the field might reveal the population level and movements of E. kamerunicus. Studies of the insect itself might reveal either genetic drift or infection by entomopathogenic nematodes. The first observations made during this mission need to be extended to Aek Loba and to other Socfindo estates, whilst concentrating on the trials to be set in place and which will need to be observed regularly and carefully. It is proposed that each mission be systematically accompanied by a training session for the staff in charge, during our field trips or during short meetings.

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Rapport de mission

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