Sex pheromones are super easy to use, why are they expensive and out of stock? The reason why it is difficult to import but unable to MIT is exposed

Published: 2024-05-18 Author: mysheen
Last Updated: 2024/05/18, Sex pheromones are super easy to use, why are they expensive and out of stock? The reason why it is difficult to import but unable to MIT is exposed

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A few days ago, Guo Mingxian, a farmer in Chiayi, posted a warning post on Facebook that "do not go too far as worms", complaining that the army of insects is rampant and picking buds to eat. "I suggest you keep your mouth open and wait for the corn to grow up and divide you, otherwise it will no longer be tolerated in accordance with the law."

Of the 15 hectares of farmland rented by Kuo Ming-hsien, half of the corn seedlings were destroyed by Spodoptera litura and autumn army worms. Seedlings less than 30 centimeters tall were either bitten off by roots or their hearts were gnawed and broken, so they could only plough and hoe and replant. The pest cost him hundreds of thousands of yuan, but this is not the most serious. "I can no longer supply Li Jen and the Housewives Alliance, and I don't know how long it will be out of stock." His own processed corn products were also shut down, and he felt very guilty about breaking his promise to his customers.

"I won't steal a step. It's easy to kill them, but that's against my original intention." Guo Mingxian said. He does not use chemical pesticides, and natural disasters and pests are an expected risk, and this time he will post a complaint because he has no ── sex pheromone, a biological weapon against the insect army.

Looking at the corn in the field being eaten away by an army of insects, Guo Mingxian was suffering. (photography / Yang Yuyun) all organic routines can be used, and sex pheromone with thiobacillus thuringiensis works best.

Sex pheromone is a kind of attractant, which uses the smell emitted by females to induce males to cull. The number of males in the field becomes less, and the females can not mate, which can naturally achieve the purpose of pest control. And this method is not limited to organic farmers, habitual farmers can also be used in combination to reduce the use of chemical pesticides.

Lin Meifang, a farmer in Fuxing, Changhua, uses the conventional farming method to grow wax gourd. Before using fruit fly attractant, he must spray pesticide once every three days. After using it, he only needs to spray it twice during flowering. "the effect is amazing." She said.

At the same time, sex pheromone can also be used to observe the density of insects in the field. Kuo Ming-hsien places pheromone traps every 30 meters in the field. About six or seven days after the number of adults increases, they will lay eggs and hatch. At that time, the best effect will be achieved with the application of thurium.

An insect trap is placed every 30 meters with a sex pheromone attractant to attract males. (photography / Yang Yuyun)

Guo Mingxian said that his field area is large, but once the bacteria are exposed to sunlight, they are easy to decompose and their effectiveness will be greatly reduced, so they must be applied accurately, otherwise they will be a waste. Sex pheromone and Suri complement each other, just like his traps and ammunition, when there is no trap, the ammunition can only be fired indiscriminately, and the effect is naturally ineffective.

Over the years, however, the pheromone price of Spodoptera litura has increased several times. In the past, a dose in a thin plastic tube cost only 10 yuan, and Kuo Ming-hsien bought it in large quantities, and the price could be as low as 6 yuan, but now the hose package, which is changed to 2 grams, can only be installed in 20 insect traps, but the asking price is as high as 400 yuan, equivalent to a more than three-fold increase in cost.

Lin Meifang is also impressed by the price. She says that the plastic tube melon fly attractant sold in the market costs only 5 yuan, but one hose costs 280 yuan, and it is only the weight of 10 plastic tubes, and the price has more than fivefold.

Autumn army insects and sweet potato ants are out of stock.

If pheromones just increase the price, farmers can afford it, but pheromones of the autumn army insects are not available at all. "I've heard that the government is in control, but I don't know where it is." Kuo Ming-hsien said that last year he found an army insect in a small cornfield. At that time, the Prevention and Inspection Bureau put a pheromone trap in the field, saying that it was to monitor the control effect. "A year has passed, and not even a figure has come back to check it out!" He was helpless and angry.

Also out of stock is the sweet potato ant elephant pheromone. Cai Youcai, who grows sweet potatoes in Hsinchu Xiangshan, says that biological control cannot achieve 100% effect, but pheromones solve 90% of the problems and will not cause trouble in the field. But about a year ago, Chaoyang University of Science and Technology, which supplied him with sweet potato ants like pheromone, could no longer be supplied for free and could not be sold because of the end of field research. "I don't know what laws and regulations are stuck in. It's obviously a good thing. Shouldn't the government break through difficulties and help farmers and schools?" Cai Youcai's tone was full of confusion.

Current criminals who are eating corn leaves: autumn army insects (Photography / Yang Yuyun) academic circles have manufacturing ability, but laws and regulations restrict commercialization

Cai Youcai's query is indeed the bottleneck faced by the academic circles at present. Zeng Ruichang, director of the pheromone Center at Chaoyang University of Science and Technology, said that according to the Pesticide Management Law, sexual pheromones belong to biological pesticides, regardless of the fact that educational units cannot engage in business activities, even if they have to sell sex pheromones. universities need to apply for pesticide factory registration certificates and obtain sales licenses, and various administrative regulations limit the channels for academic institutions to assist farmers.

Domestic academic units have been engaged in biological control research for a long time. Taking Chaoyang University of Science and Technology as an example, the pheromone Center was established as early as 12 years ago. At present, more than 20 kinds of sex pheromone dosage forms have been developed to trap and kill common Lepidoptera (such as various diamondback moths) or Coleoptera pests (such as sweet potato ant elephants) in the field. At the same time, they can also confirm the density of insects in the field and accurately apply organic pesticides.

Tseng Ruichang said that pheromones are aimed at flying adults and microbial agents against larvae crawling in the fields, "just like air force and army attack on both sides." but this land-to-air war will only control the number of insects and will not kill them all. therefore, it can maintain ecological balance without causing a burden on the environment, and it is a very friendly pest management technique.

However, according to Zeng Ruichang's observation, the pace of the government's commercialization of pheromone technology seems to have slowed down in recent years. On the contrary, microbial control has become the main force, which may also be reflected in the government's policy of subsidizing materials such as thuri. Although Chaoyang University of Science and Technology has developed 20 pheromone dosage forms, due to the limitations of laws and regulations, most of these dosage forms are in the "research report". Only through technical transformation and long pesticide registration procedures can they barely become commodities in the future.

Zeng Ruichang (Photography / Yang Yuyun), Director of the pheromone Center of Chaoyang University of Science and Technology, the new microcapsule ointment has a long-term effect and is not expensive, but it is difficult to import protoplasts.

In fact, the technology of manufacturing pheromones in Taiwan is very mature. in the past, pheromones were injected into a plastic tube with syringes and sealed at both ends. when farmers used them, all they had to do was cut the seals and put them in an insect trap, and after pheromones were released, they could trap insects. However, because the pipe is easy to cause pollution, the Chaoyang University of Science and Technology team encapsulated pheromone in the capsule through the chemical technology of "microcapsules" and controlled the efficiency and time of pheromone release by regulating the thickness of the capsule, that is, the so-called "sustained release" effect.

In 2014, Chaoyang University of Science and Technology transferred the technology of pheromone microencapsulated ointment of Spodoptera litura to Chinese and Western Chemical, and it was not until 2018 that it was registered for the sale of pesticides. In the past, the effective period of plastic tube was only one month, but the effective period of sustained-release microcapsule ointment was as long as two months.

Hua Guoxun, commissioner of Chinese and Western chemical industry, said that although the 2-gram hose ointment for Spodoptera litura can only order 20 traps, it can last for two months, equivalent to 40 plastic pipes, and the cost is 10 yuan per trap per month. If 4 grams of paste 600 yuan is calculated, a single monthly trap is only 7.5 yuan, which will not be more expensive, and it can also reduce the production of plastic pipe waste.