Integrated pest management
Integrated pest management (IPM) is an integrated approach of crop management to solve ecological problems when applied in agriculture.
These methods are performed in three stages: prevention, observation, and intervention. It is an ecological approach with a main goal of significantly reducing or eliminating the use of pesticides while at the same time managing pest populations at an acceptable level.
For their leadership in developing and spreading IPM worldwide, Dr. Perry Adkisson and Dr. Ray F. Smith received the 1997 World Food Prize.
Shortly after World War II, when synthetic insecticides became widely available, entomologists in California developed the concept of "supervised insect control". Around the same time, entomologists in cotton-belt states such as Arkansas were advocating a similar approach. Under this scheme, insect control was "supervised" by qualified entomologists, and insecticide applications were based on conclusions reached from periodic monitoring of pest and natural-enemy populations. This was viewed as an alternative to calendar-based insecticide programs. Supervised control was based on a sound knowledge of the ecology and analysis of projected trends in pest and natural-enemy populations.
Supervised control formed much of the conceptual basis for the "integrated control" that University of California entomologists articulated in the 1950s. Integrated control sought to identify the best mix of chemical and biological controls for a given insect pest. Chemical insecticides were to be used in manner least disruptive to biological control. The term "integrated" was thus synonymous with "compatible." Chemical controls were to be applied only after regular monitoring indicated that a pest population had reached a level (the economic threshold) that required treatment to prevent the population from reaching a level (the economic injury level) at which economic losses would exceed the cost of the artificial control measures.
IPM extended the concept of integrated control to all classes of pests and was expanded to include tactics other than just chemical and biological controls. Artificial controls such as pesticides were to be applied as in integrated control, but these now had to be compatible with control tactics for all classes of pests. Other tactics, such as host-plant resistance and cultural manipulations, became part of the IPM arsenal. IPM added the multidisciplinary element, involving entomologists, plant pathologists, nematologists, and weed scientists.
In the United States, IPM was formulated into national policy in February 1972 when President Nixon directed federal agencies to take steps to advance the concept and application of IPM in all relevant sectors. In 1979, President Carter established an interagency IPM Coordinating Committee to ensure development and implementation of IPM practices. (references: "The History of IPM", BioControl Reference Center. 
An IPM system is designed around six basic components: The US Environmental Protection Agency has a useful set of IPM principles. 
- Acceptable pest levels: The emphasis is on control, not eradication. IPM holds that wiping out an entire pest population is often impossible, and the attempt can be more costly, environmentally unsafe, and frequently unachievable. IPM programs first work to establish acceptable pest levels, called action thresholds, and apply controls if those thresholds are crossed. These thresholds are pest and site specific, meaning that it may be acceptable at one site to have a weed such as white clover, but at another site it may not be acceptable. This stops the pest gaining resistance to chemicals produced by the plant or applied to the crops. If many of the pests are killed then any that have resistance to the chemical will rapidly reproduce forming a resistant population. By not killing all the pests there are some un-resistant pests left that will dilute any resistant genes that appear.
- Preventive cultural practices: Selecting varieties best for local growing conditions, and maintaining healthy crops, is the first line of defense, together with plant quarantine and 'cultural techniques' such as crop sanitation (e.g. removal of diseased plants to prevent spread of infection).
- Monitoring: Regular observation is the cornerstone of IPM. Observation is broken into two steps, first; inspection and second; identification. Visual inspection, insect and spore traps, and other measurement methods and monitoring tools are used to monitor pest levels. Accurate pest identification is critical to a successful IPM program. Record-keeping is essential, as is a thorough knowledge of the behavior and reproductive cycles of target pests. Since insects are cold-blooded, their physical development is dependent on the temperature of their environment. Many insects have had their development cycles modeled in terms of degree days. Monitor the degree days of an environment to determine when is the optimal time for a specific insect's outbreak.
- Mechanical controls: Should a pest reach an unacceptable level, mechanical methods are the first options to consider. They include simple hand-picking, erecting insect barriers, using traps, vacuuming, and tillage to disrupt breeding.
- Biological controls: Natural biological processes and materials can provide control, with minimal environmental impact, and often at low cost. The main focus here is on promoting beneficial insects that eat target pests. Biological insecticides, derived from naturally occurring microorganisms (e.g.: Bt, entomopathogenic fungi and entomopathogenic nematodes), also fit in this category.
- Chemical controls: Synthetic pesticides are generally only used as required and often only at specific times in a pests life cycle. Many of the newer pesticide groups are derived from plants or naturally occurring substances (e.g.: nicotine, pyrethrum and insect juvenile hormone analogues), and further 'biology-based' or 'ecological' techniques are under evaluation.
An IPM regime can be quite simple or sophisticated. Historically, the main focus of IPM programs was on agricultural insect pests. Although originally developed for agricultural pest management, IPM programs are now developed to encompass diseases, weeds, and other pests that interfere with the management objectives of sites such as residential and commercial structures, lawn and turf areas, and home and community gardens.
IPM is applicable to all types of agriculture and sites such as residential and commercial structures, lawn and turf areas, and home and community gardens. Reliance on knowledge, experience, observation, and integration of multiple techniques makes IPM a perfect fit for organic farming (sans artificial pesticide application). For large-scale, chemical-based farms, IPM can reduce human and environmental exposure to hazardous chemicals, and potentially lower overall costs of pesticide application material and labor.
1. Proper identification of pest - What is it? Cases of mistaken identity may result in ineffective actions. If plant damage due to over-watering are mistaken for fungal infection, spray costs can be incurred, and the plant is no better off.
2. Learn pest and host life cycle and biology. At the time you see a pest, it may be too late to do much about it except maybe spray with a pesticide. Often, there is another stage of the life cycle that is susceptible to preventative actions. For example, weeds reproducing from last year's seed can be prevented with mulches. Also, learning what a pest needs to survive allows you to remove these.
3. Monitor or sample environment for pest population - How many are here? Preventative actions must be taken at the correct time if they are to be effective. For this reason, once the pest is correctly identified, monitoring must begin before it becomes a problem. For example, in school cafeterias where roaches may be expected to appear, sticky traps are set out before school starts. Traps are checked at regular intervals so populations can be monitored and controlled before they get out of hand. Some factors to consider and monitor include: Is the pest present/absent? What is the distribution - all over or only in certain spots? Is the pest population increasing or decreasing?
4. Establish action threshold (economic, health or aesthetic) - How many are too many? In some cases, a certain number of pests can be tolerated. Soybeans are quite tolerant of defoliation, so if there are a few caterpillars in the field and their population is not increasing dramatically, there is not necessarily any action necessary. Conversely, there is a point at which action must be taken to control cost. For the farmer, that point is the one at which the cost of damage by the pest is more than the cost of control. This is an economic threshold. Tolerance of pests varies also by whether or not they are a health hazard (low tolerance) or merely a cosmetic damage (high tolerance in a non-commercial situation).
Different sites may also have varying requirements based on specific areas. White clover may be perfectly acceptable on the sides of a tee box on a golf course, but unacceptable in the fairway where it could cause confusion in the field of play.
5. Choose an appropriate combination of management tactics For any pest situation, there will be several options to consider. Options include, mechanical or physical control, cultural controls, biological controls and chemical controls. Mechanical or physical controls include picking pests off plants, or using netting or other material to exclude pests such as birds from grapes or rodents from structures. Cultural controls include keeping an area free of conducive conditions by removing or storing waste properly, removing diseased areas of plants properly. Biological controls can be support either through conservation of natural predators or augmentation of natural predators.
Augmentative control includes the introduction of naturally occurring predators at either an inundative or inoculative level. An inundative release would be one that seeks to inundate a site with a pest's predator to impact the pest population. An inoculative release would be a smaller number of pest predators to supplement the natural population and provide ongoing control. Chemical controls would include horticultural oils or the application of pesticides such as insecticides and herbicides. A Green Pest Management IPM program would use pesticides derived from plants, such as botanicals, or other naturally occurring materials.
6. Evaluate results - How did it work? Evaluation is often one of the most important steps. This is the process to review an IPM program and the results it generated. Asking the following questions is useful: Did actions have the desired effect? Was the pest prevented or managed to farmer satisfaction? Was the method itself satisfactory? Were there any unintended side effects? What can be done in the future for this pest situation? Understanding the effectiveness of the IPM program allows the site manager to make modifications to the IPM plan prior to pests reaching the action threshold and requiring action again.
 See also
- ^ United States Environmental Protection Agency, "Pesticides and Food: What Integrated Pest Management Means."
- ^ Bennett, Et Al., "Truman's Scientific Guide to Pest Management Operations", 6th edition, page 10, Purdue University/Questex Press, 2005.
- ^ http://www.umass.edu/umext/ipm/publications/guidelines/index.html.
- ^ Purdue University Turf Pest Management Correspondence Course, Introduction, 2006
- ^ http://www.knowledgebank.irri.org/IPM/biocontrol/
- ^ http://www.hort.uconn.edu/ipm/veg/htms/ecbtrich.htm
- ^ http://pinellas.ifas.ufl.edu/green_pros/ipm_basics.shtml
- ^ http://www.knowledgebank.irri.org/IPM/biocontrol/Inundative_release.htm
- ^ http://www.knowledgebank.irri.org/IPM/biocontrol/Inoculative_release_.htm
- ^ Bennett, Et Al., "Truman's Scientific Guide to Pest Management Operations", 6th edition, page 12, Purdue University/Questex Press, 2005.
- Dreistadt, Steve H., Mary Louise Flint, et al., "Pests of Landscape Trees and Shrubs: An Integrated Pest Management Guide". ANR Publications, University of California, Oakland, California, 1994. 328pp, paper, photos, reference tables, diagrams.
- Bennett, Gary W., Ph.d., Owens, John M., Ph.d., Corrigan, Robert M, Ph.d. Truman's Scientific Guide to Pest Management Operations, 6th Edition, pages 10, 11, 12, Purdue University, Questex, 2005.
- Jahn, GC, PG Cox., E Rubia-Sanchez, and M Cohen 2001. The quest for connections: developing a research agenda for integrated pest and nutrient management. pp. 413â€“430, In S. Peng and B. Hardy [eds.] â€śRice Research for Food Security and Poverty Alleviation.â€ť Proceeding the International Rice Research Conference, 31 March â€“ 3 April 2000, Los BaĂ±os, Philippines. Los BaĂ±os (Philippines): International Rice Research Institute. 692 p.
- Jahn, GC, B. Khiev, C Pol, N. Chhorn and V Preap 2001. Sustainable pest management for rice in Cambodia. In P. Cox and R Chhay [eds.] â€śThe Impact of Agricultural Research for Development in Southeast Asiaâ€ť Proceedings of an International Conference held at the Cambodian Agricultural Research and Development Institute, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 24-26 Oct. 2000, Phnom Penh (Cambodia): CARDI.
- Jahn, GC, JA Litsinger, Y Chen and A Barrion. 2007. Integrated Pest Management of Rice: Ecological Concepts. In Ecologically Based Integrated Pest Management (eds. O. Koul and G.W. Cuperus). CAB International Pp. 315â€“366.
- Kogan, M 1998. INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT:Historical Perspectives and Contemporary Developments, Annual Review of Entomology Vol. 43: 243-270 (Volume publication date January 1998) (doi:10.1146/annurev.ento.43.1.243)
- Nonveiller, Guido 1984. Catalogue commentĂ© et illustrĂ© des insectes du Cameroun d'intĂ©rĂŞt agricole : (apparitions, rĂ©partition, importance) / University of Belgrade/Institut pour la protection des plantes
On building organic pest-free gardens
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