Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers
Cultural control of the Andean potato weevil
Recognize the problem
"Choq'e laq'o" or "khuru" causes damage to tubers by making holes or tunnels, which in some cases damage the whole potato. If these worms are not controlled, the potato yield will be lower and of poor quality, causing losses to the farmer.
The worm is the offspring of an adult weevil, which comes from other potato farms. The female weevil lays its eggs on the plant collar region in the cracks of stems. When the worms are born from the eggs, they get down to the soil and go directly into the tubers where they settle. The worms soon become adult weevils that emerge and mate to lay more eggs.
The weevils can also live on herbs (e.g. mallow) and stubble of barley and oat because these are hollow reeds where the weevils can lay their eggs.
During the potato harvest, most worms go out of the potato and enter the soil where they survive.
1. Sowing should be done at the appropriate time according to the variety used.
2. Practise crop rotation. Plant potatoes after bean, lupine or other legume or in fallow land.
3. Make the "pilcha" or the first hilling when the plant height is 15-20 centimeters, before they have too many weeds.
4. Weeding or "thumi" should be done at the appropriate time, especially to eliminate host plants and stubble.
5. The second hilling, or qhawa, should be high, adequately covering the plant collar region with earth to prevent the weevil from laying its eggs and entering the collar region where the potatoes are.
6. Harvest should be conducted at the appropriate time because extremely mature tubers are easily attacked by worms.
7. Use blankets for the harvest so that the worms that come out will not enter the soil. Take chickens to the harvest area so that they will eat the worms.
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