Horticulture yields and quality can be significantly reduced by pests and diseases so good management is important to prevent losses. When it comes to pest management there is no silver bullet, but Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is considered very efficient, taking advantage of a suite of practices.
IPM is based on keeping pest populations to levels which the crop yield and quality can tolerate. IPM has a list of advantages such as reduced development of pesticide resistance and reduced workload in handling and applying chemicals.
IPM is mostly thought of as biological control via beneficial bugs, but there is more to it, it also involves, cultural, physical, genetic, and chemical management strategies that together work to prevent, suppress, and control pests and diseases. Cultural methods
is are about changing the conditions, planting location, timing, or rotation etc., to make them less favourable for the pests. Physical methods prevent s the pests from getting into the crops, using barriers, traps or removal. Genetic management can include selecting pest resistant varieties developed by classical breeding or genetic engineering. Chemical management is also a part of IPM, where the least toxic or most specific option is selected and applied strategically for example at the most vulnerable life stage of the pest. Last but not least, it is also important to comply with regulatory requirements such as restrictions to movement of materials and quarantine.
Record keeping is also important, this data will over time become the basis for benchmarking and working out action thresholds for major pests.
While not all pests can be directly fought by natural predators, the IPM approach with higher beneficial activity seem to have a secondary impact. Paul Jones from Bugs for Bugs recently presented at Growcom’s workshop series Pest Aware, Pest Prepared. Mr Jones talked about trials indicating that numbers and damage from fall army worms were minimised in areas with low spray regimes and high beneficial activity.
The Hort360 SEQ project promotes sustainable land management practices in the Lockyer, Fassifern and Sunshine Coast hinterland while addressing sediment, nutrient, herbicides, and pesticides entering local waterways. The project also promotes alignment with the national program, Freshcare.
Research has shown that effective land management is key to achieving optimum productivity and sustainability. Hort360 will show you the risks you face on your farm from sub-optimum soil and nutrient management and how tackling these issues can lead to greater profitability.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION OR TO BOOK A PROPERTY VISIT, PLEASE CONTACT:
Hort360 SEQ Project Manager
0417 783 313
Hort360 SEQ Facilitator
0429 000 179
Hort360 SEQ is funded by the Queensland Department of Environment and Science.