Management of the Boll Weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in the Colombian Caribbean: A Conceptual Model


The boll weevil BW; Anthonomus grandis grandis Boheman (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) is the main pest in the cotton-producing regions throughout the Americas from SouthernTexas to Argentina. In the Colombian Caribbean, frequent population outbreaks have resulted in cotton planting bans in some localities and in massive applications of insecticides elsewhere (up to 15 insecticide sprays per cotton season). To date, information on boll weevil management strategies in Colombia is only available in the forms of gray literature (technical reports) and informal knowledge held by crop advisors and farmers. This study compiles this information using a standardized protocol for participatory construction of conceptual models for agricultural systems. The conceptual model developed in this study integrates the informal local knowledge of crop advisors and farmers with disciplinary knowledge describing management strategies for boll weevil.The collected data were assessed and organized using a systems approach to facilitate the future development of quantitative models and allow visualization of knowledge gaps.The model includes the description of the biological and technical-decisional subsystems.The latter subsystem explains boll weevil management at two temporal-spatial scales: 1 farm (field) scale management during the cotton season and 2 a regional boll weevil suppression strategy mainly aimed at controlling the insect populations that survived the intercotton season. The development of this conceptual model allowed describing the current management strategies for boll weevil and formulating hypotheses about the effectiveness of these strategies. This conceptual model provides guidelines for future research, and it can serve as a baseline for the development of quantitative models and simulations describing the decision-making process related to the management of boll weevil in the Colombian Caribbean.

Journal of Integrated Pest Management, (12), 1,