Yangtze University unveils microbial pesticide
Researchers at Yangtze University’s agricultural college (Hubei) have developed a microbial pesticide for use on cotton that contains microorganisms antagonistic to Verticillium wilt ( Verticillium albo-atrum) and Fusarium wilt ( Fusarium oxysporum). Research on the pesticide began in 2006. It is formulated using selected rhizhospheric and endogenous microorganisms found in cotton. Dr Zhou Yi, agricultural researcher at the college, claims that the new pesticide need only be applied twice during the cotton growth cycle, and can achieve up to 70% efficacy against the diseases. The microbial pesticide requires a 3-4 times lower dosage than similar products on the market, thereby reducing labour costs by some 67%, and effecting savings of more than Yuan 420 ($61) per ha of cotton.