ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE PUBLISHED FOR EVERYBODY ROUND THE EARTH
Exercise 1: Which are the most important agricultural pests where you live?
We now know that climatic conditions affect the growth and prevalence of weeds, diseases, and pests.
Find some information about the most important agricultural pests where you live.
Write to a farmers association and ask for information. Check your local library or use the internet to get detailed information about these pests.
You can also plan a trip to a farm or an interview with a farmer.
Interesting aspects include:
- Which are the most important pests?
- What conditions do they need to go?
- Which crops are affected?
- What kind of damage do the pests cause?
- How many of these pests are necessary to cause severe damage?
- Which kind of countermeasure (chemical and biological) is used?
Exercise 2: Experiment to determine how potato crops are damaged by different levels of pest infestation
You will need:
- several potato plants
- potato beetles (from a field).
Put different numbers of potato beetles on each plant. Cover each plant with net to prevent the beetles escaping. Observe how much damage the beetles do.
1. Experimental set up. Picture taken by Florian Schäfer.
Place different numbers of beetles (1 - 5 - 10) in the various pots.
Keep a log and note how the plants are affected over time and take pictures.
What are the effects on the plant?
How much damage is done?
How many beetles are tolerable?
What measures should a farmer take?
About this page:
author: Florian Schäfer - University of Nürnberg, Nürnberg, Germany
educational reviewers: Prof. Helmut Schrettenbrunner, Dr. Yvonne Schleicher and Julia Heres - University of Nürnberg, Nürnberg, Germany
Last update: 2004-01-07