Integrated pest management and social Licence
consumer scrutiny of producer practices increases, using an integrated approach and not solely relying on any one strategy helps build public trust in commercial food production.
The steps to integrated pest management include:
• Prevention: reducing pest numbers primarily through cultural practices.
• Monitor and forecast: includes identifying pests, knowing pest life cycles and using predictive tools, particularly for diseases and insects.
• Intervention: scouting fields, knowing economic thresholds and various management strategies that suppress certain pests.
•Evaluation and recordkeeping: knowing what works and doesn’t work is essential for future planning.
Integrated pest management does not rely on one management strategy in these steps, but uses an integrated approach. Management strategies should include a combination of the following:
• Cultural strategies are preventative and involve managing ecosystems to minimize pest organisms from causing significant economic crop damage. Examples include diversified crop rotations, seeding rates and variety selection.
•Chemical strategies are the use of synthetic pesticides, including herbicides, fungicides and insecticides. A continuing issue with using this strategy is the ever-expanding pest resistance (whether they are weed, disease or insect pests), to various pesticides. Another concern that is important to both the agricultural industry and to consumers is the proper use of pesticides. Safe residue levels include significant safety margins that are based on using registered products, at the registered rates, on the registered crop and pest stages, and that follow the registered preharvest intervals. Proper use of pesticides also includes using appropriate technology to reduce any spray drift and follow labelled buffer zones.
• Mechanical strategies include strategic tillage, mowing weeds, cleaning grain or milling weed seeds.
• Biological strategies include scouting for existing beneficial organisms that play an important role in suppressing certain weeds, insects and diseases; or use of biological pesticides to amplify naturally occurring beneficial organisms.
For more information, you can contact me at the Ministry of Agriculture Regional Office in Moose Jaw at 1-866-4572377.