Basis for agroecological management of aphids (Aphis craccivora Koch) on cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L.) in Cuban agroecosystems
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- Master's theses (IPV) 
Aphid (Aphis craccivora Koch) is an important cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L.) pest in Cuban agroecosystems, causing important damages. Aphid fluctuation in a cowpea crop was observed by weekly counting in a control treatment. Precipitation and temperature were recorded to explain this fluctuation. Three fertilization regimes were applied to cowpea plots and related with their aphid population. Environment and aphid population of two plots were correlated. Finally, three farms were compared in terms of biodiversity, of presence of hosting or repelling aphid plants, of crop management, of yield and of aphid population in a cowpea crop. 12 Cuban farmers were interviewed about their farming practices, how they decide it and their opinion on agroecological practices. Farmers seemed to prefer biopesticides application to the use of vegetal barriers, of repelling plants and of colored traps. A lack of knowledge was observed. Good practices and good results were however observed in the region. Aphids attack cowpea crop at the beginning of the cropping season and during flowering-pod formation. Factors explaining presence and variation of aphids can be local biodiversity, crop stage and precipitation. Fertilization does not seem to have an effect. It is suggested to create a structure for farmers to exchange their practices and to continue research on okra-cowpea association and the presence of neem three.
In this report, aphid population was observed and factors explaining aphid population fluctuation were looked for. Insights on how to continue researching on this topic and how to improve cowpea farming are provided.