Integrated pest management (IPM) is the term used for a wide range of tactics to prevent pests of all kinds from reaching damaging levels in crops. A pest can be an insect, mite, vertebrate such as birds, a disease, or weed.
IPM tactics fall into the following categories:
With new effective chemicals the question often asked is 'Why bother with IPM?' IPM results in the strategic use of products that reduce health risks to producers, their families and staff as well as consumers. It also minimises the chance of pests developing resistance to chemicals. In addition, no chemical provides 100% control. Practicing IPM integrates strategies that control pests in different ways. For example, by conserving beneficial insects, they're more likely to kill pests hiding in the places where insecticide coverage is poor.
The catalyst for modern IPM began in the 1950s when over-reliance on chemicals in the field led to catastrophic results. It showed that the sole reliance on chemicals for pest problems in horticulture is not a long-term solution. Diamond back moth holds the distinction of being the first insect pest to develop resistance to DDT, and Bt in the field. It has also developed resistance to synthetic pyrethroids, and organophosphates.
IPM benefits growers, the environment and consumers. It is equally about both the economic and social sustainability of growing food for the benefit of all.
Growers who implement IPM as part of their farming practice have the potential to save money, produce a quality crop, and reduce their hours spent on the tractor.
There are numerous benefits from using IPM. These include:
Successful IPM requires growers and their consultants to have knowledge of key components in the field that will guide sound decisions and forecasts.
Both the Field Guide and the CD can be ordered through:
Crop Health Services Bookshop
Phone 03 9210 9356
Fax 03 9887 3166