Getting to Know Beautiful Flowers, an Effective ‘Weapon’ Against Pests

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This flower stands as a pioneer in adopting sustainable methods to reduce pest populations and lessen reliance on chemical pesticides.. Photo by: Special

PALMOILMAGAZINE, JAKARTA – In palm oil plantations, a plethora of vibrant flowers not only enhance the visual appeal but also serve as effective ‘weapons’ against pests. One such example is Cassia cobanensis, characterized by its orange-yellow hue with a distinctive black spot in the center of its leaves.

This flower stands as a pioneer in adopting sustainable methods to reduce pest populations and lessen reliance on chemical pesticides.

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Ooi Ling Hoak, the Head of Research and Development (R&D) Estate Division, as quoted on from the official page of Musim Mas, elucidated that these flowers play pivotal roles in maintaining the balance of the plantation ecosystem.

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As an experienced agronomy expert, Ooi Ling Hoak and his research team really understand how pests delivered influence for palm oil (trees). The pests cause damages in the leaves, reduce chlorophyll production which should be essential in photosynthesis. To avoid chemical pesticide application which could harmful, Cassia cobanensis is the sustainable solution to be planted.

Cassia cobanensis produces flower essence as the food parasitoid which is the natural predator that helps to control pest population that eats palm oil tree leaves, such as, webworms, and bagworms. Parasitoid, insect that lays eggs in or in other organism, would help to control pest population in more natural and sustainable ways. The cycle of the parasite is effective not only to fight the pests but also involve other natural elements to maintain plantation ecosystem balance.

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If it is difficult to control pests with conventional pesticides, biological method is more popular option. Not only Cassia cobanensis, but other flowering bushes, such as, Euphorbia heterophylla, Turnera subulata, and Antigonon leptopus, play roles as the mother for pest predators that eat palm oil tree leaves.

The flowering bushes provide not only spots for pest predators but also escalate natural conservation around the plantations. Besides the efficient application in palm oil plantations, they also make high sustainability value and natural balance.

Biological method to control pests which is mixed by using minimal chemical material application is known as integrated pest management. This made important part of agricultural practices in environment-basis which the goal is to reduce pesticide and herbicide application which is risky for the environment and (men’s) health. (T2)

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