Advances in the Knowledge of Quinoa Pests
A wide range of quinoa pests are known throughout the world. The most serious of the Andean pests are Eurysacca melanocampta (Meyrick) and E. quinoae Povolny´ (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), found mainly in Peru and Bolivia, which cause considerable yield losses. Insects found elsewhere in the world are polyphagous pests constituting a wide range of potential pests if quinoa is implemented as a crop in those regions. Other major pests include a group of cutworms (Noctuidae). Apart from insects birds cause a major loss through foraging, damaging cotyledonous plants and inflorescences, with yield losses of up to 60%.
Cultural practices and host plant resistances will be important components of integrated pest management (IPM). Biological control of the main pests is good; for example, up to 45% of Eurysacca melanocampta in the field are usually controlled by a range of parasitoid species as well as predators in the field.
Future research should focus on the main pests in order to reveal basic information on interactions with the host plant. Population carryover from one growth season to another and the role of environmental factors on insect development and population size should also be studied.