BIOINTENSIVE                                                                  INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT                  ...
“Conventional” and “Biointensive” IPM                                                        ○ ○ ○ ○ ○Pest management is a...
reactive                                                           Chemical Controls                                      ...
Why Move to Biointensive IPM?                                                   ○ ○ ○ ○ ○Biointensive IPM incorporates eco...
Components of Biointensive IPM                                                       ○ ○ ○ ○ ○An important difference betw...
become apparent. These weak links are phases                 The second set of options is more reactive.of the life cycle ...
Maintaining and increasing biological diversity      occur there as well. For example, larvae of oneof the farm system is ...
An enforced rotation program in the Imperial Val-          direct return per acre than the alternate crop,    ley of Calif...
the increased diversity helps “disguise” crops         plants from these seeds will have a goodfrom insect pests, and if d...
crop until overwintering adult squash bugs         to vegetables by insect pests when hay or strawhave died. To assist wit...
consideration for farmers and processors.             example, focuses on the establishment ofProponents of this technolog...
Most of the beneficial organisms used in ap-       from a greenhouse and are forced to concen-plied biological control tod...
nel, private consultants, the Cooperative Exten-         Monitoringsion Service, and books and websites listedunder Useful...
Economic Injury and Action Levels                 cutworm can do more damage to an emerging                               ...
Pesticides are the option of last resort in IPM            Biorational pesticides. Although use of this termprograms becau...
vegetables; and whiteflies on cotton. How-          Compost teas are most commonly used for foliarever, sugar esters are n...
herbicide use is through band application. This                Integrated Weed Managementputs the herbicide only where it ...
10 sq. meters of corn cause a 10% yield loss.                     •       Surface residue management — As men-Only 2 cockl...
Current Status of IPM                                             ○ ○ ○ ○ ○Crops with Developed IPM Programs              ...
The Future of IPM                                       ○ ○ ○ ○As this publication has highlighted, IPM in the        help...
On-farm Resources                                 selves with the Internet. See Appendix F for a                          ...
These “ecolabels,” as they’re known, are             There has been an IPM labeling programbecoming more popular, with ove...
Biointensive Integrated Pest Management
Biointensive Integrated Pest Management
Biointensive Integrated Pest Management
Biointensive Integrated Pest Management
Biointensive Integrated Pest Management
Biointensive Integrated Pest Management
Biointensive Integrated Pest Management
Biointensive Integrated Pest Management
Biointensive Integrated Pest Management
Biointensive Integrated Pest Management
Biointensive Integrated Pest Management
Biointensive Integrated Pest Management
Biointensive Integrated Pest Management
Biointensive Integrated Pest Management
Biointensive Integrated Pest Management
Biointensive Integrated Pest Management
Biointensive Integrated Pest Management
Biointensive Integrated Pest Management
Biointensive Integrated Pest Management
Biointensive Integrated Pest Management
Biointensive Integrated Pest Management
Biointensive Integrated Pest Management
Biointensive Integrated Pest Management
Biointensive Integrated Pest Management
Biointensive Integrated Pest Management
Biointensive Integrated Pest Management
Biointensive Integrated Pest Management
Biointensive Integrated Pest Management
Biointensive Integrated Pest Management
Biointensive Integrated Pest Management
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Biointensive Integrated Pest Management

1,509

Published on

Biointensive Integrated Pest Management

Published in: Education, Technology
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
1,509
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
50
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Biointensive Integrated Pest Management

  1. 1. BIOINTENSIVE INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT (IPM) FUNDAMENTALS OF SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE ATTRA is the national sustainable agriculture information center funded by the USDA’s Rural Business--Cooperative Service.Abstract: This publication provides the rationale for biointensive IntegratedPest Management (IPM), outlines the concepts and tools of biointensive IPM,and suggests steps and provides informational resources for implementing IPM.It is targeted to individuals interested in agriculture at all levels.By Rex DufourNCAT Agriculture SpecialistJuly 2001 Contents “Conventional” and “Biointensive” IPM ......................................................................................................... 2 Why Move to Biointensive IPM? ....................................................................................................................... 4 Components of Biointensive IPM ...................................................................................................................... 5 How to Get Started ......................................................................................................................................... 5 The Pest Manager/Ecosystem Manager ..................................................................................................... 5 Proactive Strategies (Cultural Controls) ...................................................................................................... 6 Biological Controls ........................................................................................................................................ 11 Mechanical and Physical Controls ............................................................................................................. 12 Pest Identification ......................................................................................................................................... 12 Monitoring ..................................................................................................................................................... 13 Economic Injury & Action Levels ............................................................................................................... 14 Special Considerations ...................................................................................................................................... 14 Cosmetic Damage and Aesthetics .............................................................................................................. 14 Record-keeping ............................................................................................................................................. 14 Chemical Controls ........................................................................................................................................ 14 Integrated Weed Management Systems ......................................................................................................... 17 Current Status of IPM ....................................................................................................................................... 19 Crops with Developed IPM Programs ...................................................................................................... 19 Government Policy ....................................................................................................................................... 19 The Future of IPM .............................................................................................................................................. 20 Food Quality Protection Act ........................................................................................................................ 20 New Options ................................................................................................................................................. 20 More Weed IPM ............................................................................................................................................ 20 On-farm Resources ............................................................................................................................................ 21 IPM On-line ........................................................................................................................................................ 21 IPM Certification and Marketing .................................................................................................................... 21 Summary ............................................................................................................................................................. 22 References ........................................................................................................................................................... 23 Appendices: A: IPM Planning Considerations ................................................................................................................ 25 B: Microbial Pesticides ................................................................................................................................ 27 C: Microbial Pesticide Manufacturers and Suppliers ............................................................................. 34 D: Conservation Security Act 2000 ............................................................................................................ 37 E: Pest Management Practices in Major Crops ........................................................................................ 38 F: IPM Information Resources ................................................................................................................... 39 ATTRA is a project of the National Center for Appropriate Technology
  2. 2. “Conventional” and “Biointensive” IPM ○ ○ ○ ○ ○Pest management is an ecological matter. The A conception of a managed resource, suchsize of a pest population and the damage it as a cropping system on a farm, as ainflicts is, to a great extent, a reflection of the component of a functioning ecosystem.design and management of a particular agricul- Actions are taken to restore and enhancetural ecosystem. natural balances in the system, not to eliminate species. Regular monitoringWe humans compete with other organisms for makes it possible to evaluate the popula-food and fiber from our crops. We wish to tions of pest and beneficial organisms. Thesecure a maximum amount of the food re- producer can then take steps to enhancesource from a given area with minimum input natural controls (or at least avoid or limitof resources and energy. However, if the the disruption of natural controls) of theagricultural system design and/or manage- target pest(s).ment is faulty—making it easy for pests todevelop and expand their populations or, An understanding that the presence of aconversely, making it difficult for predators pest does not necessarily constitute aand parasites of pests to exist—then we will be problem. Before a potentially disruptiveexpending unnecessary resources for pest control method is employed, appropriatemanagement. Therefore, the first step in sus- decision-making criteria are used to deter-tainable and effective pest management is mine whether or not pest managementlooking at the design of the agricultural ecosys- actions are needed.tem and considering what ecological conceptscan be applied to the design and management A consideration of all possible pest manage-of the system to better manage pests and their ment options before action is taken.parasites and predators. A philosophy that IPM strategies integrateThe design and management of our agricul- a combination of all suitable techniques intural systems need re-examining. We’ve come as compatible a manner as possible; it isto accept routine use of biological poisons in important that one technique not conflictour food systems as normal. But routine use of with another (1).synthetic chemicals represents significantenergy inputs into the agricultural system, and However, IPM has strayed from its ecologicalcarries both obvious and hidden costs to the roots. Critics of what might be termed “con-farmer and society. Attempting to implement ventional” IPM note that it has been imple-an ecology-based discipline like IPM in large mented as Integrated Pesticide Managementmonocultures, which substitute chemical (or even Improved Pesticide Marketing) withinputs for ecological design, can be an exercise an emphasis on using pesticides as a tool ofin futility and inefficiency. first resort. What has been missing from this approach, which is essentially reactive, is anIPM, as it was originally conceived, proposed understanding of the ecological basis of pestto manage pests though an understanding of infestations (see first bullet above). Alsotheir interactions with other organisms and the missing from the conventional approach areenvironment. Most of the 77 definitions for guidelines for ecology-based manipulations of theIPM listed in The Database of IPM Resources farm agroecosystem that address the questions:(DIR) website, <http://www.ipmnet.org/DIR/>, despite some differences in emphasis, Why is the pest there?agree with this idea and have the following How did it arrive?elements in common: Why doesn’t the parasite/predator complex control the pest? //Biointensive Integrated Pest Management Page 2
  3. 3. reactive Chemical Controls Applied Biologicals Mechanical & Physical Conrols Monitoring & ID of Pests Monitoring & ID of Pests & Beneficials//Biointensive Integrated Pest Management Sanitation, Planting Dates, & Crop Rotation Aboveground Crop Genetic Diversity Beneficial Habitat & Cultivars Appropriate & Healthy Soil to Ecosystem & Pest Pressures proactive Biointensive IPM Conventional IPMPage 3
  4. 4. Why Move to Biointensive IPM? ○ ○ ○ ○ ○Biointensive IPM incorporates ecological and dominated by farms. Although some pendingeconomic factors into agricultural system design legislation has recognized the costs to farmersand decision making, and addresses public of providing these ecological services (seeconcerns about environmental quality and food Appendix D), it’s clear that farmers andsafety. The benefits of implementing ranchers will be required to manage their landbiointensive IPM can include reduced chemical with greater attention to direct and indirect off-input costs, reduced on-farm and off-farm farm impacts of various farming practices onenvironmental impacts, and more effective water, soil, and wildlife resources. With thisand sustainable pest management. An likely future in mind, reducing dependence onecology-based IPM has the potential of chemical pesticides in favor of ecosystemdecreasing inputs of fuel, machinery, and manipulations is a good strategy for farmers.synthetic chemicals—all of which are energyintensive and increasingly costly in terms of Consumers Union, a group that has carriedfinancial and environmental impact. Such out research and advocacy on variousreductions will benefit the grower and society. pesticide problems for many years, defines biointensive IPM as the highest level of IPM:Over-reliance on the use of synthetic pesticidesin crop protection programs around the world “a systems approach to pest managementhas resulted in disturbances to the environ- based on an understanding of pest ecology.ment, pest resurgence, pest resistance to pesti- It begins with steps to accurately diagnose the nature and source of pest problems,cides, and lethal and sub-lethal effects on non- and then relies on a range of preventivetarget organisms, including humans (3). These tactics and biological controls to keep pestside effects have raised public concern about populations within acceptable limits.the routine use and safety of pesticides. At the Reduced-risk pesticides are used if othersame time, population increases are placing tactics have not been adequately effective,ever-greater demands upon the “ecological as a last resort, and with care to minimizeservices”—that is, provision of clean air, water risks.” (2)and wildlife habitat—of a landscape This “biointensive” approach sounds remark- Prior to the mid-1970s, lygus bugs were ably like the original concept of IPM. Such a considered to be the key pest in California “systems” approach makes sense both intu- cotton. Yet in large-scale studies on insec- itively and in practice. ticidal control of lygus bugs, yields in un- treated plots were not significantly differ- The primary goal of biointensive IPM is to ent from those on treated plots. This was provide guidelines and options for the effective because the insecticides often induced out- management of pests and beneficial organisms breaks of secondary lepidopterous larvae in an ecological context. The flexibility and (i.e., cabbage looper, beet armyworm, and environmental compatibility of a biointensive bollworm) and mite pests which caused ad- IPM strategy make it useful in all types of ditional damage as well as pest resurgence cropping systems. of the lygus bug itself. These results, from an economic point of view, seem paradoxi- Even conventional IPM strategies help to cal, as the lygus bug treatments were costly, prevent pest problems from developing, and yet the treated plots consistently had lower reduce or eliminate the use of chemicals in yields (i.e., it cost farmers money to lose managing problems that do arise. Results of 18 money). This paradox was first pointed out economic evaluations of conventional IPM on by R. van den Bosch, V. Stern, and L. A. cotton showed a decrease in production costs Falcon, who forced a reevaluation of the of 7 percent and an average decrease in pesti- economic basis of Lygus control in Califor- cide use of 15 percent (4). Biointensive IPM nia cotton (5). would likely decrease chemical use and costs even further. //Biointensive Integrated Pest Management Page 4
  5. 5. Components of Biointensive IPM ○ ○ ○ ○ ○An important difference between conventional When planning a biointensive IPM program,and biointensive IPM is that the emphasis of some considerations include:the latter is on proactive measures to redesign Options for design changes in the agricul-the agricultural ecosystem to the disadvantage tural system (beneficial organism habitat,of a pest and to the advantage of its parasite crop rotations)and predator complex. At the same time, Choice of pest-resistant cultivarsbiointensive IPM shares many of the same Technical information needscomponents as conventional IPM, including Monitoring options, record keeping, equip-monitoring, use of economic thresholds, record ment, etc.keeping, and planning. The table in Appendix A provides more detailsHow To Get Started With IPM about these and other ideas that should be— PLANNING, PLANNING, PLANNING considered when implementing a biointensive IPM program.Good planning must precede implementationof any IPM program, but is particularly impor- The Pest Manager / Ecosystem Managertant in a biointensive program. Planningshould be done before planting because many The pest manager is the most important link inpest strategies require steps or inputs, such as a successful IPM program. The manager mustbeneficial organism habitat management, that know the biology of the pest and the beneficialmust be considered well in advance. Attempt- organisms associated with the pest, and under-ing to jump-start an IPM program in the begin- stand their interactions within the farm envi-ning or middle of a cropping season generally ronment. As a detailed knowledge of the pestdoes not work. is developed, weak links in its life cycle Blocks on the Pesticide Treadmill Resistance: Pesticide use exerts a powerful selection pressure for changing the genetic make-up of a pest population. Naturally resistant individuals in a pest population are able to survive pesti- cide treatments. The survivors pass on the resistance trait to their offspring. The result is a much higher percentage of the pest population resistant to a pesticide. In the last decade, the number of weed species known to be resistant to herbicides rose from 48 to 270, and the number of plant pathogens resistant to fungicides grew from 100 to 150. Resistance to insecticides is so common — more than 500 species — that nobody is really keeping score (2). Resurgence: Pesticides often kill off natural enemies along with the pest. With their natural en- emies eliminated, there is little to prevent recovered pest populations from exploding to higher, more damaging numbers than existed before pesticides were applied. Additional chemical pesti- cide treatments only repeat this cycle. Secondary Pests: Some potential pests that are normally kept under good control by natural en- emies become actual pests after their natural enemies are destroyed by pesticides. Mite outbreaks after pesticide applications are a classic example. Residues: Only a minute portion of any pesticide application contacts the target organism. The remainder may degrade harmlessly, but too often water, wind, and soil will carries pesticides to non-target areas and organisms, affecting the health of human and wildlife populations. Public concerns over residues are deepened by the lack of research and knowledge about possible syner- gistic interactions between pesticide residues and the hundreds of other synthetic chemical resi- dues now found in the environment. //Biointensive Integrated Pest Management Page 5
  6. 6. become apparent. These weak links are phases The second set of options is more reactive.of the life cycle when the pest is most suscep- This simply means that the grower responds totible to control measures. The manager must a situation, such as an economically damagingintegrate this knowledge with tools and tech- population of pests, with some type of short-niques of biointensive IPM to manage not one, term suppressive action. Reactive methodsbut several pests. A more accurate title for the generally include inundative releases of bio-pest manager is “ecosystem doctor,” for he or logical controls, mechanical and physical controls, and chemical controls.she must pay close attention to the pulse of themanaged ecosystem and stay abreast of devel- Proactive Strategies (Cultural Control)opments in IPM and crop/pest biology andecology. In this way, the ecosystem manager • Healthy, biologically active soils (increasingcan take a proactive approach to managing belowground diversity)pests, developing ideas about system manipu-lations, testing them, and observing the results. • Habitat for beneficial organisms (increasing aboveground diversity)IPM options may be considered proactive orreactive. Proactive options, such as crop • Appropriate plant cultivarsrotations and creation of habitat for beneficialorganisms, permanently lower the carrying Cultural controls are manipulations of thecapacity of the farm for the pest. The carrying agroecosystem that make the cropping systemcapacity is determined by factors like food, less friendly to the establishment and prolifera-shelter, natural enemies complex, and weather, tion of pest populations. Although they are designed to have positive effects on farmwhich affect the reproduction and survival of a ecology and pest management, negative im-species. Cultural controls are generally consid- pacts may also result, due to variations inered to be proactive strategies. weather or changes in crop management. Carrying Capacity of Farm Systems for Pest Populations:In a non-farmscaped system, where pests have fewer natural controls and thus reach higher averagepopulations, they are more likely to approach or exceed the economic threshold level for the crop, makingpesticide treatments likely. In a farmscaped system, greater and more consistent populations of beneficialorganisms put more ecological pressure on the pests, with the result that pest populations are less likely toapproach the economic threshold. In other words, the ecological carrying capacity for a pest will probably be lower ina farmscaped system. For more on farmscaping, see p. 11. //Biointensive Integrated Pest Management Page 6
  7. 7. Maintaining and increasing biological diversity occur there as well. For example, larvae of oneof the farm system is a primary strategy of species of blister beetle consume about 43cultural control. Decreased biodiversity tends grasshopper eggs before maturing (10). Bothto result in agroecosystems that are unstable are found in the soil. (Unfortunately, althoughand prone to recurrent pest outbreaks and blister beetle larvae can help reduce grasshop-many other problems (5). Systems high in per populations, the adult beetles can be abiodiversity tend to be more “dynamically serious pest for many vegetable growers.)stable”—that is, the variety of organisms Overall, a healthy soil with a diversity ofprovide more checks and balances on each beneficial organisms and high organic matterother, which helps prevent one species (i.e., content helps maintain pest populations belowpest species) from overwhelming the system. their economic thresholds.There are many ways to manage and increase Genetic diversity of a particular crop may bebiodiversity on a farm, both above ground and increased by planting more than one cultivar.in the soil. In fact, For example, adiversity above “When we kill off the natural recent experimentground influences in China (11) enemies of a pest we inheritdiversity below demonstrated that their work”  Carl Huffaker disease-susceptibleground. Research hasshown that up to half rice varietiesof a plant’s photosynthetic production (carbo- planted in mixtures with resistant varieties hadhydrates) is sent to the roots, and half of that 89% greater yield and a 94% lower incidence of(along with various amino acids and other rice blast (a fungus) compared to when theyplant products) leaks out the roots into the were grown in monoculture. The experiment,surrounding soil, providing a food source for which involved five townships in 1998 and tenmicroorganisms. These root exudates vary townships in 1999, was so successful thatfrom plant species to plant species and this fungicidal sprays were no longer applied byvariation influences the type of organisms the end of the two-year program.associated with the root exudates (6). Species diversity of the associated plant andFactors influencing the health and biodiversity animal community can be increased by allow-of soils include the amount of soil organic ing trees and other native plants to grow inmatter; soil pH; nutrient balance; moisture; and fence rows or along water ways, and by inte-parent material of the soil. Healthy soils with a grating livestock into the farm system. Use ofdiverse community of organisms support plant the following cropping schemes are additionalhealth and nutrition better than soils deficient ways to increase species diversity. (Seein organic matter and low in species diversity. ATTRA’s Farmscaping to Enhance BiologicalResearch has shown that excess nutrients (e.g., Control for more information on this topic.)too much nitrogen) as well as relative nutrientbalance (i.e., ratios of nutrientsfor example, Crop rotations radically alter the environmenttwice as much calcium as magnesium, com- both above and below ground, usually to thepared to equal amounts of both) in soils affect disadvantage of pests of the previous crop.insect pest response to plants (7, 8). Imbalances The same crop grown year after year on thein the soil can make a plant more attractive to same field will inevitably build up populationsinsect pests (7, 8), less able to recover from pest of organisms that feed on that plant, or, in thedamage, or more susceptible to secondary case of weeds, have a life cycle similar to thatinfections by plant pathogens (8). Soils rich in of the crop. Add to this the disruptive effect oforganic matter tend to suppress plant patho- pesticides on species diversity, both above andgens (9). In addition, it is estimated that 75% of below ground, and the result is an unstableall insect pests spend part of their life cycle in system in which slight stresses (e.g., new pestthe soil, and many of their natural enemies variety or drought) can devastate the crop. //Biointensive Integrated Pest Management Page 7
  8. 8. An enforced rotation program in the Imperial Val- direct return per acre than the alternate crop, ley of California has effectively controlled the but may also lower management costs for the sugar beet cyst nematode. Under this program, alternate crop (by reducing weed pressure, for sugar beets may not be grown more than two example, and thus avoiding one tillage or years in a row or more than four years out of ten herbicide application), with a net increase in in clean fields (i.e., non-infested fields). In infested profit. fields, every year of a sugar beet crop must be followed by three years of a non-host crop. Other Other Cropping Structure Options nematode pests commonly controlled with crop rotation methods include the golden nematode Multiple cropping is the sequential production of potato, many root-knot nematodes, and the of more than one crop on the same land in one soybean cyst nematode. year. Depending on the type of cropping sequence used, multiple cropping can be usefulWhen making a decision about crop rotation, as a weed control measure, particularly whenconsider the following questions: Is there an the second crop is interplanted into the first.economically sustainable crop that can berotated into the cropping system? Is it compat- Interplanting is seeding or planting a crop into aible? Important considerations when develop- growing stand, for example overseeding aing a crop rotation are: cover crop into a grain stand. There may be microclimate advantages (e.g., timing, wind• What two (or three or several) crops can protection, and less radical temperature and provide an economic return when considered humidity changes) as well as disadvantages together as a biological and economic system (competition for light, water, nutrients) to this that includes considerations of sustainable soil strategy. By keeping the soil covered, inter- management? planting may also help protect soil against erosion from wind and rain.• What are the impacts of this season’s crop- ping practices on subsequent crops? Intercropping is the practice of growing two or more crops in the same, alternate, or paired• What specialized equipment is necessary for rows in the same area. This technique is the crops? particularly appropriate in vegetable produc- tion. The advantage of intercropping is that• What markets are available for the rotation crops?A corn/soybean rotation is one example ofrotating compatible economic crops. Corn is agrass; soybean is a leguminous broadleaf. Thepest complex of each, including soil organisms,is quite different. Corn rootworm, one of themajor pests of corn, is virtually eliminated byusing this rotation. Both crops generallyprovide a reasonable return. Even rotations,however, create selection pressures that willultimately alter pest genetics. A good exampleis again the corn rootworm: the corn/beanrotation has apparently selected for a smallpopulation that can survive a year of non-corn(i.e., soybean) cropping (12).Management factors should also be considered. Intercropping French beans with cilantroFor example, one crop may provide a lower —a potential control for symphylans. //Biointensive Integrated Pest Management Page 8
  9. 9. the increased diversity helps “disguise” crops plants from these seeds will have a goodfrom insect pests, and if done well, may allow chance of being better suited to the local envi-for more efficient utilization of limited soil and ronment and of being more resistant to insectswater resources. Disadvantages may relate to and diseases. Since natural systems are dy-ease of managing two different crop species namic rather than static, breeding for resistancewith potentially different nutrient, water, and must be an ongoing process, especially in thelight needs, and differences in harvesting time case of plant disease, as the pathogens them-and methodin close proximity to each other. selves continue to evolve and become resistantFor a detailed discussion, request the ATTRA to control measures (13).publication, Intercropping: Principles and Produc-tion Practices. Sanitation involves removing and destroying the overwintering or breeding sites of the pestStrip cropping is the practice of growing two or as well as preventing a new pest from establish-more crops in different strips across a field ing on the farm (e.g., not allowing off-farm soilwide enough for independent cultivation (e.g., from farm equipment to spread nematodes oralternating six-row blocks of soybeans and corn plant pathogens to your land). This strategyor alternating strips of alfalfa and cotton or has been particularly useful in horticultural andalfalfa and corn). It is commonly practiced to tree-fruit crop situations involving twig andhelp reduce soil erosion in hilly areas. Like branch pests. If, however, sanitation involvesintercropping, strip cropping increases the removal of crop residues from the soil surface,diversity of a cropping area, which in turn may the soil is left exposed to erosion by wind andhelp “disguise” the crops from pests. Another water. As with so many decisions in farming,advantage to this system is that one of the crops both the short- and long-term benefits of eachmay act as a reservoir and/or food source for action should be considered when tradeoffs likebeneficial organisms. However, much more this are involved.research is needed on the complex interactionsbetween various paired crops and their pest/ Spacing of plants heavily influences the devel-predator complexes. opment of plant diseases and weed problems. The distance between plants and rows, theThe options described above can be integrated shape of beds, and the height of plants influ-with no-till cultivation schemes and all its ence air flow across the crop, which in turnvariations (strip till, ridge till, etc.) as well as determines how long the leaves remain dampwith hedgerows and intercrops designed for from rain and morning dew. Generally speak-beneficial organism habitat. With all the ing, better air flow will decrease the incidencecropping and tillage options available, it is of plant disease. However, increased air flowpossible, with creative and informed manage- through wider spacing will also allow morement, to evolve a biologically diverse, pest- sunlight to the ground, which may increasesuppressive farming system appropriate to the weed problems. This is another instance inunique environment of each farm. which detailed knowledge of the crop ecology is necessary to determine the best pest manage-Other Cultural Management Options ment strategies. How will the crop react to increased spacing between rows and betweenDisease-free seed and plants are available from plants? Will yields drop because of reducedmost commercial sources, and are certified as crop density? Can this be offset by reducedsuch. Use of disease-free seed and nursery pest management costs or fewer losses fromstock is important in preventing the introduc- disease?tion of disease. Altered planting dates can at times be used toResistant varieties are continually being bred by avoid specific insects, weeds, or diseases. Forresearchers. Growers can also do their own example, squash bug infestations on cucurbitsplant breeding simply by collecting non-hybrid can be decreased by the delayed plantingseed from healthy plants in the field. The strategy, i.e., waiting to establish the cucurbit //Biointensive Integrated Pest Management Page 9
  10. 10. crop until overwintering adult squash bugs to vegetables by insect pests when hay or strawhave died. To assist with disease management was used as mulch. The difference was due todecisions, the Cooperative Extension Service spiders, which find mulch more habitable than(CES) will often issue warnings of “infection bare ground (15). Other researchers haveperiods” for certain diseases, based upon the found that living mulches of various cloversweather. reduce insect pest damage to vegetables and orchard crops (16). Again, this reduction is dueIn some cases, the CES also keeps track of to natural predators and parasites provided“degree days” needed for certain important habitat by the clovers. Vetch has been used asinsect pests to develop. Insects, being cold- both a nitrogen source and as a weed suppres-blooded, will not develop below or above sive mulch in tomatoes in Maryland (17).certain threshold temperatures. Calculating Growers must be aware that mulching mayaccumulated degree days, that is, the number also provide a more friendly environment forof days above the threshold development slugs and snails, which can be particularlytemperature for an insect pest, makes the damaging at the seedling stage.prediction of certain events, such as egg hatch,possible. University of California has an excel- Mulching helps to minimize the spread of soil-lent website that uses weather station data from borne plant pathogens by preventing theiraround the state to help California growers transmission through soil splash. Mulch, ifpredict pest emergence: <http:// heavy enough, prevents the germination ofwww.ipm.ucdavis.edu/WEATHER/ many annual weed seeds. Winged aphids areddretrieve.html>. repelled by silver- or aluminum-colored mulches (18). Recent springtime field tests atSome growers gauge the emergence of insect the Agricultural Research Service in Florence,pests by the flowering of certain non-crop plant South Carolina, have indicated that red plasticspecies native to the farm. This method usesthe “natural degree days” accumulated by mulch suppresses root-knot nematode damageplants. For example, a grower might time in tomatoes by diverting resources away fromcabbage planting for three weeks after the the roots (and nematodes) and into foliage andAmelanchier species (also known as saskatoon, fruit (19).shadbush, or serviceberry) on their farm are inbloom. This will enable the grower to avoid Biotech Crops. Gene transfer technology is beingpeak egg-laying time of the cabbage maggot fly, used by several companies to develop cultivarsas the egg hatch occurs about the time resistant to insects, diseases, and herbicides.Amelanchier species are flowering (14). Using An example is the incorporation of geneticthis information, cabbage maggot management material from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), aefforts could be concentrated during a known naturally occurring bacterium, into cotton,time frame when the early instars (the most corn, and potatoes, to make the plant tissueseasily managed stage) are active. toxic to bollworm, earworm, and potato beetle larvae, respectively.Optimum growing conditions are always impor-tant. Plants that grow quickly and are healthy Whether or not this technology should becan compete with and resist pests better than adopted is the subject of much debate. Oppo-slow-growing, weak plants. Too often, plants nents are concerned that by introducing Btgrown outside their natural ecosystem range genes into plants, selection pressure for resis-must rely on pesticides to overcome conditions tance to the Bt toxin will intensify and a valu-and pests to which they are not adapted. able biological control tool will be lost. There are also concerns about possible impacts ofMulches, living or non-living, are useful for genetically-modified plant products (i.e., rootsuppression of weeds, insect pests, and some exudates) on non-target organisms as well asplant diseases. Hay and straw, for example, fears of altered genes being transferred to weedprovide habitat for spiders. Research in Ten- relatives of crop plants. Whether there is anessee showed a 70% reduction in damage market for gene-altered crops is also a //Biointensive Integrated Pest Management Page 10
  11. 11. consideration for farmers and processors. example, focuses on the establishment ofProponents of this technology argue that use of flowering annual or perennial plants thatsuch crops decreases the need to use toxic provide pollen and nectar needed duringchemical pesticides. certain parts of the insect life cycle. Other habitat features provided by farmscapingBiological Control include water, alternative prey, perching sites, overwintering sites, and wind protection.Biological control is the use of living organisms Beneficial insects and other beneficial organ-—parasites, predators, or pathogens—to main- isms should be viewed as mini-livestock, withtain pest populations below economically specific habitat and food needs to be includeddamaging levels, and may be either natural or in farm planning.applied. A first step in setting up a biointensiveIPM program is to assess the populations of The success of such efforts depends on knowl-beneficials and their interactions within the edge of the pests and beneficial organismslocal ecosystem. This will within the croppinghelp to determine the system. Where dopotential role of natural the pests and bene-enemies in the managed ficials overwinter?agricultural ecosystem. It What plants are hostsshould be noted that some and non-hosts?groups of beneficials (e.g., When this kind ofspiders, ground beetles, knowledge informsbats) may be absent or planning, the eco-scarce on some farms logical balance canbecause of lack of habitat. be manipulated inThese organisms might favor of beneficialsmake significant contri- and against thebutions to pest manage- Beneficial organisms should be viewed as pests.ment if provided with mini-livestock, with specific habitat andadequate habitat. food needs to be included in farm planning. It should be kept in mind that ecosystemNatural biological control results when naturally manipulation is a two-edged sword. Someoccurring enemies maintain pests at a lower plant pests (such as the tarnished plant buglevel than would occur without them, and is and lygus bug) are attracted to the same plantsgenerally characteristic of biodiverse systems. that attract beneficials. The development ofMammals, birds, bats, insects, fungi, bacteria, beneficial habitats with a mix of plants thatand viruses all have a role to play as predators flower throughout the year can help preventand parasites in an agricultural system. By such pests from migrating en masse fromtheir very nature, pesticides decrease the farmscaped plants to crop plants.biodiversity of a system, creating the potentialfor instability and future problems. Pesticides, See ATTRA’s Farmscaping to Enhance Biologicalwhether synthetically or botanically derived, Control for a detailed treatment of this subject.are powerful tools and should be used withcaution. Applied biological control, also known as aug- mentative biocontrol, involves supplementa-Creation of habitat to enhance the chances for tion of beneficial organism populations, forsurvival and reproduction of beneficial organ- example through periodic releases of parasites,isms is a concept included in the definition of predators, or pathogens. This can be effectivenatural biocontrol. Farmscaping is a term coined in many situations—well-timed inundativeto describe such efforts on farms. releases of Trichogramma egg wasps for co-Habitat enhancement for beneficial insects, for dling moth control, for instance. //Biointensive Integrated Pest Management Page 11
  12. 12. Most of the beneficial organisms used in ap- from a greenhouse and are forced to concen-plied biological control today are insect para- trate predation/parasitism on the pest(s) atsites and predators. They control a wide range hand.of pests from caterpillars to mites. Some spe-cies of biocontrol organisms, such as An increasing number of commercially avail-Eretmocerus californicus, a parasitic wasp, are able biocontrol products are made up of micro-specific to one host—in this case the organisms, including fungi, bacteria, nema-sweetpotato whitefly. Others, such as green todes, and viruses. Appendix B, Microbiallacewings, are generalists and will attack many Pesticides, lists some of the formulations avail-species of aphids and whiteflies. able. Appendix C, Microbial Pesticide Manufac- turers and Suppliers, provides addresses ofInformation about rates and timing of release manufacturers and suppliers.are available from suppliers of beneficialorganisms. It is important to remember that Mechanical and Physical Controlsreleased insects are mobile; they are likely toleave a site if the habitat is not conducive to Methods included in this category utilize sometheir survival. Food, nectar, and pollen sources physical component of the environment, suchcan be “farmscaped” to provide suitable habi- as temperature, humidity, or light, to thetat. detriment of the pest. Common examples are tillage, flaming, flooding, soil solarization, andThe quality of commercially available applied plastic mulches to kill weeds or to preventbiocontrols is another important consideration. weed seed germination.For example, if the organisms are not properlylabeled on the outside packaging, they may be Heat or steam sterilization of soil is commonlymishandled during transport, resulting in the used in greenhouse operations for control ofdeath of the organisms. A recent study by soil-borne pests. Floating row covers overRutgers University (20) noted that only two of vegetable crops exclude flea beetles, cucumbersix suppliers of beneficial nematodes sent the beetles, and adults of the onion, carrot, cab-expected numbers of organisms, and only one bage, and seed corn root maggots. Insectsupplier out of the six provided information on screens are used in greenhouses to preventhow to assess product viability. aphids, thrips, mites, and other pests from entering ventilation ducts. Large, multi-rowWhile augmentative biocontrols can be applied vacuum machines have been used for pestwith relative ease on small farms and in gar- management in strawberries and vegetabledens, applying some types of biocontrols crops. Cold storage reduces post-harvestevenly over large farms has been problematic. disease problems on produce.New mechanized methods that may improvethe economics and practicality of large-scale Although generally used in small or localizedaugmentative biocontrol include ground situations, some methods of mechanical/application with “biosprayers” and aerial physical control are finding wider acceptancedelivery using small-scale (radio-controlled) or because they are generally more friendly to theconventional aircraft (21). environment.Inundative releases of beneficials into green- Pest Identificationhouses can be particularly effective. In thecontrolled environment of a greenhouse, pest A crucial step in any IPM program is to identifyinfestations can be devastating; there are no the pest. The effectiveness of both proactivenatural controls in place to suppress pest and reactive pest management measurespopulations once an infestation begins. For this depend on correct identification. Misidentific-reason, monitoring is very important. If an ation of the pest may be worse than useless; itinfestation occurs, it can spread quickly if not may actually be harmful and cost time anddetected early and managed. Once introduced, money. Help with positive identification ofbiological control agents cannot escape pests may be obtained from university person- //Biointensive Integrated Pest Management Page 12
  13. 13. nel, private consultants, the Cooperative Exten- Monitoringsion Service, and books and websites listedunder Useful Resources at the end of this Monitoring involves systematically checkingpublication. crop fields for pests and beneficials, at regular intervals and at critical times, to gather infor-After a pest is identified, appropriate and mation about the crop, pests, and naturaleffective management depends on knowing enemies. Sweep nets, sticky traps, and phero- mone traps can be used to collect insects foranswers to a number of questions. These may both identification and population densityinclude: information. Leaf counts are one method for recording plant growth stages. Square-foot or• What plants are hosts and non-hosts of this larger grids laid out in a field can provide a pest? basis for comparative weed counts. Records of rainfall and temperature are sometimes used to• When does the pest emerge or first appear? predict the likelihood of disease infections.• Where does it lay its eggs? In the case of Specific scouting methods have been developed weeds, where is the seed source? For plant for many crops. The Cooperative Extension pathogens, where is the source(s) of Service can provide a list of IPM manuals inoculum? available in each state. Many resources are now available via Internet (see Appendix F for• Where, how, and in what form does the pest IPM-related websites). overwinter? The more often a crop is monitored, the more information the grower has about what is• How might the cropping system be altered happening in the fields. Monitoring activity to make life more difficult for the pest and should be balanced against its costs. Frequency easier for its natural controls? may vary with temperature, crop, growth phase of the crop, and pest populations. If aMonitoring (field scouting) and economic pest population is approaching economicallyinjury and action levels are used to help answer damaging levels, the grower will want tothese and additional questions (22). monitor more frequently.yellow stickymonitoring card Monitoring for squash pests (aphids and whiteflies). //Biointensive Integrated Pest Management Page 13
  14. 14. Economic Injury and Action Levels cutworm can do more damage to an emerging cotton plant than to a plant that is six weeksThe economic injury level (EIL) is the pest old. Clearly, this pest’s EIL will change as thepopulation that inflicts crop damage greater cotton crop develops.than the cost of control measures. Becausegrowers will generally want to act before a ETLs are intimately related to the value of thepopulation reaches EIL, IPM programs use the crop and the part of the crop being attacked.concept of an economic threshold level (ETL or For example, a pest that attacks the fruit orET), also known as an action threshold. The vegetable will have a much lower ETL (that is,ETL is closely related to the EIL, and is the the pest must be controlled at lower popula-point at which suppression tactics should be tions) than a pest that attacks a non-saleableapplied in order to prevent pest populations part of the plant. The exception to this rule isfrom increasing to injurious levels. an insect or nematode pest that is also a disease vector. Depending on the severity of theIn practice, many crops have no established disease, the grower may face a situation whereEILs or ETLs, or the EILs that have been devel- the ETL for a particular pest is zero, i.e., theoped may be static over the course of a season crop cannot tolerate the presence of a singleand thus not reflect the changing nature of the pest of that particular species because theagricultural ecosystem. For example, a single disease it transmits is so destructive.Special Considerations ○ ○ ○ ○ ○Cosmetic Damage and Aesthetics Time and ResourcesConsumer attitudes toward how produce looks A successful biointensive IPM program takesis often a major factor when determining a time, money, patience, short- and long-termcrop’s sale price. Cosmetic damage is an planning, flexibility, and commitment. Theimportant factor when calculating the EIL, pest manager must spend time on self-educa-since pest damage, however superficial, lowers tion and on making contacts with Extensiona crop’s market value. Growers selling to a and research personnel. Be aware that somemarket that is informed about IPM or about IPM strategies, such as increasing beneficialorganically grown produce may be able to insect habitat, may take more than a year totolerate higher levels of cosmetic damage to show results.their produce. A well-run biointensive IPM system mayRecord-keeping: “Past is prologue” require a larger initial outlay in terms of time and money than a conventional IPM program.Monitoring goes hand-in-hand with record- In the long run, however, a good biointensivekeeping, which forms the collective “memory” IPM program should pay for itself. Directof the farm. Records should not only provide pesticide application costs are saved andinformation about when and where pest equipment wear and tear may be reduced.problems have occurred, but should alsoincorporate information about cultural prac- Chemical Controlstices (irrigation, cultivation, fertilization,mowing, etc.) and their effect on pest and Included in this category are both syntheticbeneficial populations. The effects of non- pesticides and botanical pesticides.biotic factors, especially weather, on pest andbeneficial populations should also be noted. Synthetic pesticides comprise a wide range ofRecord-keeping is simply a systematic ap- man-made chemicals used to controlproach to learning from experience. A variety insects, mites, weeds, nematodes, plant dis-of software programs are now available to help eases, and vertebrate and invertebrate pests.growers keep track of—and access—data on These powerful chemicals are fast acting andtheir farm’s inputs and outputs. relatively inexpensive to purchase. //Biointensive Integrated Pest Management Page 14
  15. 15. Pesticides are the option of last resort in IPM Biorational pesticides. Although use of this termprograms because of their potential negative is relatively common, there is no legally ac-impacts on the environment, which result from cepted definition (24). Biorational pesticidesthe manufacturing process as well as from their are generally considered to be derived fromapplication on the farm. Pesticides should be naturally occurring compounds or are formula-used only when other measures, such as bio- tions of microorganisms. Biorationals have alogical or cultural controls, have failed to keep narrow target range and are environmentallypest populations from approaching economi- benign. Formulations of Bacillus thuringiensis,cally damaging levels. commonly known as Bt, are perhaps the best- known biorational pesticide. Other examples include silica aerogels, insect growth regula- tors, and particle film barriers. Particle film barriers. A relatively new technol- ogy, particle film barriers are currently avail- able under the tradename Surround WP Crop Protectant. The active ingredient is kaolin clay, an edible mineral long used as an anti-caking agent in processed foods, and in such products as toothpaste and Kaopectactate. There ap- pears to be no mammalian toxicity or any danger to the environment posed by the use of kaolin in pest control. The kaolin in Surround is processed to a specific particle size range, and combined with a sticker-spreader. Non- processed kaolin clay may be phytotoxic. Surround is sprayed on as a liquid, which evaporates, leaving a protective powdery film on the surfaces of leaves, stems, and fruit. Conventional spray equipment can be used and full coverage is important. The film works to deter insects in several ways. Tiny particles of the clay attach to the insects when they contact the plant, agitating and repelling them. Even if particles don’t attach to their bodies, the insectsThe pesticide Agrophos used in a new planting. The redcolor code denotes the most hazardous class of chemical. may find the coated plant or fruit unsuitable forIn this instance, the farmer had applied the product in feeding and egg-laying. In addition, the highlythe bag (a granular systemic insecticide) by hand. reflective white coating makes the plant less recognizable as a host. For more informationIf chemical pesticides must be used, it is to the about kaolin clay as a pest management tool,grower’s advantage to choose the least-toxic see ATTRA’s publications Kaolin Clay for Man-pesticide that will control the pest but not harm agement of Glassy-winged Sharpshooter in Grapesnon-target organisms such as birds, fish, and and Insect IPM in Apples: Kaolin Clay.mammals. Pesticides that are short-lived or acton one or a few specific organisms are in this Sugar Esters. Throughout four years of tests,class. Examples include insecticidal soaps, sugar esters have performed as well as or betterhorticultural oils, copper compounds (e.g., than conventional insecticides against mitesbordeaux mix), sulfur, boric acid, and sugar and aphids in apple orchards; psylla in pearesters (23). orchards; whiteflies, thrips, and mites on //Biointensive Integrated Pest Management Page 15
  16. 16. vegetables; and whiteflies on cotton. How- Compost teas are most commonly used for foliarever, sugar esters are not effective against disease control and applied as foliar nutrientinsect eggs. Insecticidal properties of sugar sprays. The idea underlying the use of com-esters were first investigated a decade ago post teas is that a solution of beneficial mi-when a scientist noticed that tobacco leaf hairs crobes and some nutrients is created, thenexuded sugar esters for defense against some applied to plants to increase the diversity ofsoft-bodied insect pests. Similar to insecticidal organisms on leaf surfaces. This diversitysoap in their action, these chemicals act as competes with pathogenic organisms, makingcontact insecticides and degrade into environ- it more difficult for them to become establishedmentally benign sugars and fatty acids after and infect the plant.application. AVA Chemical Ventures of Ports-mouth, NH hopes to have a product based on An important consideration when usingsucrose octanoate commercially available by compost teas is that high-quality, well-agedthe end of 2001. Contact: Gary J. Puterka, ARS compost be used, to avoid contamination ofAppalachian Fruit Research Station, plant parts by animal pathogens found inKearneysville, WV, (304) 725-3451 ext. 361, fax manures that may be a component of the(304) 728-2340, e-mail compost. There are different techniques for<gputerka@afrs.ars.usda.gov>. creating compost tea. The compost can be immersed in the water, or the water can beBecause pest resistance to chemical controls circulated through the compost. An efforthas become so common, susceptibility to should be made to maintain an aerobic envi-pesticides is increasingly being viewed by ronment in the compost/water mixture.growers as a trait worth preserving. One ATTRA has more information about compostexample of the economic impact of resistance teas, available on request.to insecticides has been documented in Michi-gan, where insecticide resistance in Colorado Pesticide application techniquespotato beetle was first reported in 1984 andcaused severe economic problems beginningin 1991. In 1991 and following years, control As monetary and environmental costs ofcosts were as high as $412/hectare in districts chemical pesticides escalate, it makes sense tomost seriously affected, in contrast to $35−74/ increase the efficiency of chemical applications.hectare in areas where resistance was not a Correct nozzle placement, nozzle type, and nozzleproblem (25). The less a product is applied, pressure are very important considerations.the longer a pest population will remain Misdirected sprays, inappropriate nozzle size,susceptible to that product. Routine use of any or worn nozzles will ultimately cost the growerpesticide is a problematic strategy. money and increase the risk of environmental damage.Botanical pesticides are prepared in variousways. They can be as simple as pureed plant If the monitoring program indicates that theleaves, extracts of plant parts, or chemicals pest outbreak is isolated to a particular loca-purified from plants. Pyrethrum, neem formu- tion, spot treatment of only the infested area willlations, and rotenone are examples of botani- not only save time and money, but will con-cals. Some botanicals are broad-spectrum serve natural enemies located in other parts ofpesticides. Others, like ryania, are very spe- the field. The grower should also time treat-cific. Botanicals are generally less harmful in ments to be least disruptive of other organisms.the environment than synthetic pesticides This is yet another example where knowledgebecause they degrade quickly, but they can be about the agroecosystem is important.just as deadly to beneficials as synthetic pesti-cides. However, they are less hazardous to With the increasing popularity of no-till andtransport and in some cases can be formulated related conservation tillage practices, herbicideon-farm. The manufacture of botanicals use has increased. One way to increase appli-generally results in fewer toxic by-products. cation efficiency and decrease costs of //Biointensive Integrated Pest Management Page 16
  17. 17. herbicide use is through band application. This Integrated Weed Managementputs the herbicide only where it is needed, Systemsusually in soil disturbed by tillage or seedplanting, where weeds are most likely tosprout. Weeds as competitors in crops present a number of unique challenges that need to beBaits and microencapsulation of pesticides are recognized when developing managementpromising technologies. For example, Slam strategies. The intensity of weed problemsis an insecticide-bait mixture for control of during a growing season will be influenced bycorn rootworm. It is a formulation of a bait, weed population levels in previous years. Thecurcubitacin B, and carbaryl (Sevin) in axiom “one year’s seeding equals seven years’microspheres. It is selective, and reduces the weeding” is apt.amount of carbaryl needed to control therootworm by up to 90%. (Remember that crop Weed control costs cannot necessarily berotation will generally eliminate the need for calculated against the current year’s cropany corn rootworm chemical control.) production costs. Weeds present a physical problem for harvesting. Noxious weed seedAnother example of bait-insecticide technol- mixed with grain reduces the price paid toogy is the boll weevil bait tube. It lures the growers. If the seed is sold for crop produc-boll weevil using a synthetic sex pheromone. tion the weed can be spread to new areas. ForEach tube contains about 20 grams of example, the perennial pepperweed, thoughtmalathion, which kills the boll weevil. This to have been introduced to California in sugartechnique reduces the pesticide used in cotton beet seed, now infests thousands of acres infields by up to 80% and conserves beneficials. the state. In addition, weed economic thresh-It is most effective in managing low, early- olds must take into account multiple speciesseason populations of the boll weevil. and variable competetive ability of different crops. For example, 12.7 cocklebur plants in Sustainable Agriculture and IPM Sustainable agriculture is a system of agriculture that is ecologically, economically, and socially viable, in the short as well as long term. Rather than standing for a specific set of farming practices, a sustainable agriculture represents the goal of developing a food production system that: yields plentiful, affordable, high-quality food and other agricultural products does not deplete or damage natural resources (such as soil, water, wildlife, fossil fuels, or the germplasm base) promotes the health of the environment supports a broad base and diversity of farms and the health of rural communities depends on energy from the sun and on natural biological processes for fertility and pest management can last indefinitely IPM and sustainable agriculture share the goal of developing agricultural systems that are ecologically and economically sound. IPM may be considered a key component of a sustainable agriculture system. A premise common to IPM and sustainable agriculture is that a healthy agroecosystem depends on healthy soils and managed diversity. One of the reasons modern agriculture has evolved into a system of large mo- nocultures is to decrease the range of variables to be managed. However, a system with few species, much like a table with too few legs, is unstable. //Biointensive Integrated Pest Management Page 17
  18. 18. 10 sq. meters of corn cause a 10% yield loss. • Surface residue management — As men-Only 2 cockleburs in the same area planted to tioned earlier, a thick mulch may shade thesoybeans will cause the same 10% crop loss soil enough to keep weed seeds from(12). germinating. In addition, some plant residues are allelopathic, releasing com- “Rotation crops, when accompanied by care in pounds that naturally suppress seed germi- the use of pure seed, is the most effective means nation. yet devised for keeping land free of weeds. No • Altered plant spacing or row width — An other method of weed control, mechanical, chemi- example is narrow-row (7–18 between cal, or biological, is so economical or so easily prac- rows compared to conventional 36–39 ticed as a well-arranged sequence of tillage and between rows) soybean plantings. The cropping.” faster the leaves shade the ground, the less Source: Leighty, Clyde E. 1938. Crop Rotation. p. 406-429. weeds will be a problem. In: Soils and Men, 1938 Yearbook of Agriculture. U.S. Govt. • Herbivores — Cattle, geese, goats, and Print. Office, Washington, DC. insects can be used to reduce populations of specific weeds in special situations.Tactics that can be integrated into weed man- Cattle, for example, relish Johnson grass.agement systems include: Weeder geese were commonly used in cotton fields before the advent of herbi-• Prevention — The backbone of any success- cides. Musk thistle populations can be ful weed management strategy is preven- satisfactorily reduced by crown- and seed- tion. It is important to prevent the intro- eating weevils. Goats may be used for duction of seeds into the field through sources like irrigation water or manure. large stands of various noxious weeds. • Adjusting herbicide use to situation —• Crop rotation —A practical and effective Herbicide selection and rate can be ad- method of weed management (discussed in justed depending upon weed size, weed previous sections). species, and soil moisture. Young weeds are more susceptible to chemicals than• Cultivation — Steel in the Field: A Farmer’s older weeds. Guide to Weed Management Tools shows how today’s implements and techniques can By integrating a variety of tactics, farmers can handle weeds while reducing or eliminat- reduce or eliminate herbicide use. For more ing herbicides (26). information about weed management options see ATTRA’s publication, Principles of Sustain-• Flame weeding — good for control of small able Weed Management for Croplands. weeds.• Delayed planting — Early-germinating WEED PREVENTION weeds can be destroyed by tillage. And with warmer weather, the subsequently • Have a long, diverse rotation planted crop (depending on the crop, of • Sow clean seed course) will grow more quickly, thus com- • Prevent weed seed formation peting better with weeds. • Avoid imported feeds or manures • Compost all manure thoroughly• Staggered planting schedule — This will • Control weeds in field borders allow more time for mechanical weed • Delay planting the crop (for faster crop control, if needed. This also lessens the growth and quicker ground coverage) weather risks and spaces out the work load • Maintain good soil quality at harvest time. //Biointensive Integrated Pest Management Page 18
  19. 19. Current Status of IPM ○ ○ ○ ○ ○Crops with Developed IPM Programs for measurement have been criticized for not distinguishing between practices that areIn the last twenty years or so, IPM programs related to “treatment” and those that are “pre-have been developed for important pests in ventive,” that is, based on altering the biologi-corn, soybeans, cotton, citrus, apples, grapes, cal and ecological interactions between crops,walnuts, strawberries, alfalfa, pecans, and most pests, and beneficial organisms. Practices thatother major crops. These programs are con- constitute “treatment” with or contribute to thestantly being revised or fine-tuned, and occa- efficiency of pesticides are considered as “in-sionally undergo a significant overhaul as the dicative of an IPM approach” by USDA’sintroduction of a new technology or new pest criteria, as are practices that draw upon and aremakes the present IPM program obsolete. most compatible with biological relationships on the farm (29).The best source of information on conventionalIPM is the Cooperative Extension Service (CES) A 1998 USDA-funded survey of pest manage-associated with the land-grant university in ment practices was published in August 1999each state. Booklets and fact sheets describing and is available at http://www.reeusda.IPM programs and control measures for a wide gov/ipm/publications.htm. Highlights ofrange of crops and livestock are available free this report are excerpted in Appendix E, Pestor for a small charge. For the address of a state Management Practices: 1998 USDA SurveyIPM coordinator, refer to the Directory of State Summary Highlights.Extension Integrated Pest Management Coordina-tors. A free copy can be obtained from the The primary goal of biointensive IPM is toCooperative State Research, Education, and provide guidelines and options for the effectiveExtension Service (27), or through the world management of pests and beneficial organismswide web at http://www.reeusda.gov/ipm/ in an ecological context. This requires a some-ipmdirectory.pdf. (Adobe Acrobat Reader what different set of knowledge from thatmust be loaded on your computer in order to which supports conventional IPM, which inaccess this page.) turn requires a shift in research focus and approach. Recommended actions to betterGovernment Policy facilitate the transition to biointensive IPM are:In 1993, leaders from USDA, EPA, and FDA • Build the knowledge/information infra-announced a goal of placing 75% of U.S. crop structure by making changes in researchacreage under IPM by the year 2000. The IPM and education priorities in order to empha-Initiative described three phases: size ecology-based pest management1. Create teams of researchers, Extension • Redesign government programs to promote personnel, and growers to propose projects biointensive IPM, not “Integrated Pesticide to achieve the 75% goal. Management”2. Fund the best of those projects. • Offer consumers more choices in the mar- ketplace3. Facilitate privatization of IPM practices developed in the process. • Use the market clout of government and large corporationsAlthough some progress is evident, the Initia-tive has not received full funding from Con- • Use regulation more consciously, intelli-gress (28). In addition, the USDA’s criteria gently, and efficiently //Biointensive Integrated Pest Management Page 19
  20. 20. The Future of IPM ○ ○ ○ ○As this publication has highlighted, IPM in the helped open the market for a new generation offuture will emphasize biological and ecological microbial pesticides. For more information aboutknowledge in managing pests. Beyond that, microbial and “biopesticides”, see Appendix B,specific areas are described here that will Microbial Pesticides, and Appendix C, Microbialimpact research and implementation of IPM in Pesticide Manufacturers and Suppliers, and visitthe future. EPA’s biopesticides website at: http:// www.epa.gov/pesticides/biopesticides/.Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) (Please note that this website will be discontin- ued sometime in 2001.)The FQPA, the amended Federal Insecticide,Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), Research is proceeding on natural endophytes —requires the EPA to review all federally regis- fungi or bacteria that have a symbiotic (mutu-tered pesticides in the next 10 years and to use ally beneficial) relationship with their hosta more comprehensive health standard when plant—and their effects on plant pests. Thisallowing re-registra- research mighttion. The ultimate yield productsimpact is unknown, that could be “A convergence of technical, environmental andbut FQPA will most used to inocu- social forces is moving agriculture towards morelikely result in stricter late plants non-pesticide pest management alternatives likeregulations concern- against certain biological control, host plant resistance anding pesticide residues pests. cultural management.”in food, particularly —Michael Fitzner, National IPM Program Leader,with respect to Synthetic USDA Extension Serviceorganochlorines, beneficialorganophosphates, attractants suchand carbamates. Some of the most toxic pesti- as Predfeed IPM and L-tryptophan may helpcides have already been “de-registered” with increase the efficacy of natural controls byrespect to some of their former uses. These attracting beneficials to a crop in greater num-regulations may provide incentive for more bers than usual.widespread adoption of IPM. More informa-tion, including implementation status (from an More Weed IPMAugust 1999 Progress Report) can be found atthe FQPA homepage: http://www.epa.gov/ Weeds are the major deterrent to the develop-opppsps1/fqpa/. ment of more sustainable agricultural systems, particularly in agronomic crops. ProblemsNew Options associated with soil erosion and water quality are generally the result of weed control mea-Pest control methods are evolving and diversi- sures like tillage, herbicides, cultivation, plant-fying in response to public awareness of ing date and pattern, etc. (30). In the future,environmental and health impacts of synthetic research will focus not on symptoms, such aschemical pesticides and resulting legislation. soil erosion, but on basic problems such as howThe strong growth of the organic foods mar- to sustainably manage soils. Weeds, as anket—20% annual expansion for the past several important facet of sustainable soil manage-years—may also be a factor in the accelerated ment, will consequently receive more emphasisdevelopment of organic pest management in IPM or Integrated Crop Management (ICM)methods. programs.Agricultural pests are developing resistance tomany synthetic agrichemicals, and new syn-thetic chemicals are being registered at aslower rate than in the past. This situation has //Biointensive Integrated Pest Management Page 20
  21. 21. On-farm Resources selves with the Internet. See Appendix F for a thorough listing of IPM resources available onAs farm management strategies become in- the Internet.creasingly fine-tuned to preserve a profitablebottom line, the conservation, utilization, and IPM Certification and Marketingdevelopment of on-farm resources will take onadded importance. In the context of Certification of crops raisedIPM, this will mean greater empha- according to IPM or somesis on soil management as well as other ecology-based standardson conserving beneficial organisms, may give growers a marketingretaining and developing beneficial advantage as public concernshabitats, and perhaps developing about health and environmen-on-farm insectaries for rearing tal safety increase. For ex-beneficial insects. ample, since 1995, Wegmans has sold IPM-labeled fresh-IPM On-line market sweet corn in its Corning, Geneva, Ithaca,There is an increasing body of infor- Syracuse, and Rochester, Newmation about production, market- York stores. Wegmans hasing, and recordkeeping available to alsogrowers via the Internet. The added IPM-labeled corn,Internet is also a good source of in- beets, and beans to its shelvesformation about IPM, beneficial insects, prod- of canned vegetables. One goal of the program,ucts, and pest control options for individual in addition to being a marketing vehicle, is tocrops. IPM specialists are generating high- educate consumers about agriculture and thequality websites as a modern educational deliv- food system. Another goal is to keep all grow-ery tool, and many Extension Service leaflets ers moving along the “IPM Continuum.”are now being made available in electronic for- Growers must have an 80% “score” on the IPMmat only. This trend will only accelerate as program elements within three years, or facemore and more agriculturists familiarize them- losing Wegmans as a buyer. One Generic Model for Ecolabel/IPM Certification Standards* //Biointensive Integrated Pest Management Page 21
  22. 22. These “ecolabels,” as they’re known, are There has been an IPM labeling programbecoming more popular, with over a dozen casualty in 2000. Massachusetts’s “Partnersbrands now in existence. They may provide with Nature” marketing program closed itsfor a more certain market and perhaps a price doors after losing funding support from thepremium to help growers offset any costs Massachusetts Department of Food and Agri-associated with implementing sustainable culture. The program, which included IPMfarming practices. A possible downside to production guidelines, had operated sinceimplementing such programs is that they 1994, with 51 growers participating in 1999.require additional paperwork, development ofstandards and guidelines, and inspections. A bibliography of IPM Certification, Labeling,There is concern from some quarters that IPM and Marketing can be found at: http://labeling will cause consumers to raise more www.ipminstitute.org/ipm_bibliography.htm.questions about pesticide use and the safety ofconventional produce. Some advocates of Summary ○ ○ ○ ○organic farming worry about consumer confu-sion over the relationship of the ecolabel to the IPM can be a flexible and valuable tool when“Certified Organic” label. used as a concept with which to approach pest management. IPM is not a cookbook recipe forMothers Others for a Livable Planet, a pest control, but a flexible approach for dealingnational, non-profit, consumer advocacy and with agriculture’s ever-changing financial,environmental education organization, has regulatory, and physical environment.partnered with apple farmers in the Northeastregion to create a supportive market environ- The key to effective IPM is the farmer’s under-ment for farm products that are locally grown standing of its concepts. In 1916, Liberty Hydeand ecologically responsible. The result is the Bailey wrote a small book, entitled The Prin-Core Values eco-label: ciples of Fruit Growing, as part of a Rural Science Series published by MacMillan Co. The text is a marvelous mix of scientific theory and prac- tice. Bailey ended with the following note:A CORE Values Northeast apple is locally “We have now completed the fruit book,grown in the Northeast (New York and New having surveyed the field. It is a field ofEngland) by farmers who are striving to pro- great variety, demanding many qualities onvide apples of superior taste and quality while the part of the successful grower. Themaintaining healthy, ecologically balanced grower should first apprehend the prin-growing environments. Growers whose apples ciples and the underlying reasons, and tobear the CORE Values Northeast seal are teach this is the prime purpose of the book.accredited in knowledge-based biointensive If the grower knows why, he will teachIntegrated Pest Management (IPM) production himself how” (31).methods. For more information about thisprogram, visit: http://www.corevalues.org/cvn/home.html. FeedbackThe ecolabel to the right is a result of a Help us better help farmers. If youcollaboration between the World Wild- have suggestions for improvement oflife Fund (WWF), the Wisconsin this publi-cation, areas about whichPotato and Vegetable Growers you’d like more information or detail,Association (WPVGA), and the ideas, case studies, or sources of goodUniversity of Wisconsin. Raising IPM information (articles or websites),consumer demand for biology-based- please call Rex Dufour at 530-756-8518 ext. 39, or e-mail at rexd@ncat.org.IPM farm products is the goal of the program. //Biointensive Integrated Pest Management Page 22

×