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integrated pest management

What is Integrated Pest Management (IPM)?

A range of methods used to control pest animals, plants and fungi. It is a management system that requires an integrated approach and emphasizes the use of natural alternatives wherever possible. IPM has been used where traditional methods of pest control have failed, become costly or have been detrimental to the environment or the health of people. Over time it was found that pests build resistance to pesticides through use, so larger concentrations were being used at more frequent intervals leading to some of our health and environmental problems we currently experience.
 

Key Features

IPM anticipates and prevents pests from reaching damaging levels.

It uses the most appropriate pest control measures for a given situation.

It significantly reduces the need to use chemicals while providing the same, if not better, level of protection, however it does not completely eliminate their use.

IPM works better when plantings and crops are viewed as an ecosystem and nature is used to help maintain a healthy balance in order to increase plant's resistance to pest attack.

Decisions are made from scientific observations and statistical analysis.
But more importantly, it involves deciding when to use IPM strategies as a good knowledge of the life cycle of the pest is required.

IPM strategies cannot be implemented overnight (usually takes 2-3 years).

What methods are used?

There is a range of methods available and these include:

Cultural management (e.g. canopy management and good sanitation practices in vineyards)

Biological controls such as the trichogramma wasp

Host resistance (e.g. planting varieties to withstand local conditions such as frost to increase their resistance)

Biological pesticides (e.g. Mimic)

Traditional pesticides


Components of IPM

1. Risk assessment

2. Scouting

3. Trapping

4. Identification

5. Reporting

6. Timing

7. Control


Where is it being used?

IPM is used in nearly all agricultural fields, but is especially effective for use in:

Viticulture

Cotton

Wheat

Fruit

Vegetables

Garden


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