Positive Yield Impact of Predacious Mites in Tea Production Areas of Kenya
- Daniel Mutisya
- E. Banhawy
- Evelyn Cheramgoi
Tea agro ecosystems are least disturbed in comparison to other crop systems due to the plant canopy type. A survey on predacious mites’ abundance and impact on leaf yield in different tea production areas was carried out in 2014-2015 in Kenya. Major pest species were the red spider mite Oligonychus coffeae and the yellow thrip, Scirtothrips dorsalis. The red crevice mite, Brevipalpus phoenicis was found in few areas and in low numbers. Predacious mites of Phytoseiidae Family were highest at 5.8 and 6.8 mites per sample during dry and wet seasons, respectively. Phytoseiid abundance during the dry and wet seasons did not differ much within most sample sites. Presence of phytoseiid mites in combination with NPK-fertilizer-high altitude led to the strongest correlation to leaf yield than any other combination variable. High phytoseiid density- high altitude was third with positive impact to yield increase after high altitude combined with NPK-fertilizer. The findings here show contributory positive impact of phytoseiids in tea leaf yield in an agro eco-system.
- Joan LeeEditorial Assistant