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APPLAUSE - Alien Plant Species from harmful to useful with citizens' led activities Ljubljana, Slovenia Circular economy

Modifier 04 February 2020 by Dr. Tanja Bohinc, Department of Agronomy of Biotechnical faculty, University of Ljubljana, APPLAUSE project

Invasive alien plants as home-made formulations against plant harmful organisms

Experiment on tomato, where we have tested fungicidal activity of water extracts from eight invasive plant species (photo: Stanislav Trdan)
Short description
On the basics of growing need for organic production and registration related problems, the number of pest management products that can be used in this type of production is limited. For the following reason, the research work at Chair for Phytomedicine, Agricultural Engineering, Field Crops production, Pasture and Grassland Management at Department of Agronomy of Biotechnical faculty (University of Ljubljana) has been mainly focused in search for alternative plant protection methods, such as use of trap cropping, inter cropping, biostimulants, etc. in pest management of cultivated crops.

We have been also testing different natural product-based strategies (essential oils, diatomaceous earth, zeolites,…) against stored product insects. Excellent results were achieved by using wood ash from three different tree species (Norway spruce, common beech, black locust) against maize weevil. Our work within project Applause has been focused also on testing eight (Japanese knotweed, Bohemian knotweed, Canada goldenrod, giant goldenrod, stinkwort, tree of heaven, staghorn sumac, false indigo) different invasive alien plants against harmful organisms of cultivated crops. We have been mainly testing the efficacy of water extracts, but against slugs and stored product insect we have tested efficacy of plant powders (crushed leaves). The most promising results were achieved when water extract from false indigo and tree of heaven as home-made formulations were used against insects on onion and cabbage, and also against phytophagous mites on bean. Research, entitled »First results on potential insecticidal activity of plant powders of invasive alien plants against rice weevil under laboratory conditions«, authored by research fellow Dr. Tanja Bohinc and prof. dr. Stanislav Trdan, has been acknowledged as best poster presentation at 12th International conference of the IOBC/WPRS Working Group on the integrated protection of stored products in Pisa (Italy).

Experiment on buckwheat, where we have tested impact of spraying with water extracts from invasive alien plants on pollinators and beneficial organisms (photo: Tanja Bohinc)

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