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Encyclopedia > Integrated Pest Management

Image:IPMtrap4854.JPG IPM trap in cotton field Image taken by me, released under GFDL Pollinator 06:07, 15 Feb 2004 (UTC) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ...

IPM bollworm trap
Cotton field
Manning, South Carolina

In agriculture, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a pest control strategy that uses an array of complementary methods: natural predators and parasites, pest-resistant varieties (see GMO), cultural practices, biological controls, various physical techniques, and pesticides as a last resort. It is an ecological approach that can significantly reduce or eliminate the use of pesticides. A bollworm is a common term for any larva of a moth that attacks crops. ... Manning is a city located in Clarendon County, South Carolina. ... A pest is an animal which has characteristics which people regard as injurious or unwanted. ... This snapping turtle is trying to make a meal of a Canada goose, but the goose is too wary. ... A parasite is an organism that lives in or on the living tissue of a host organism at the expense of that host. ... // History In mid-1974, very soon after the first GMO was created, scientists called for and observed a voluntary moratorium on certain recombinant DNA experiments. ... the plane is spreading pesticide. ... (Ecology is sometimes used incorrectly as a synonym for the natural environment. ...


An IPM regime can be quite simple, or sophisticated enough to be a farming system in its own right. The main focus is usually insect pests, but IPM encompasses diseases, weeds, and any other naturally occurring biological crop threat.


An IPM system is designed around six basic components:

  1. 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 all-round counterproductive than it is worth. Better to decide on what constitutes acceptable pest levels, and apply controls if those levels are reached.
  2. Preventive cultural practices: Selecting varieties best for local growing conditions, and maintaining healthy crops, is the first line of defense.
  3. Monitoring: Regular observation is the cornerstone of IPM. Visual inspection, insect traps, and other measurement methods are used to monitor pest levels. Record-keeping is essential, as is a thorough knowledge of the behavior and reproductive cycles of target pests.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Chemical controls: Considered as an IPM last resort, synthetic pesticides may be used when other controls fail or are deemed unlikely to prove effective. Biological insecticides, derived from plants or naturally occurring microorganisms (eg: Bt), also fit in this category.

IPM is applicable to all types of agriculture. Reliance on knowledge, experience, observation, and integration of multiple techniques makes IPM a perfect fit for organic farming (the synthetic chemical option is simply not considered). For large-scale, chemical-based farms, IPM can reduce human and environmental exposure to hazardous chemicals, and potentially lower overall costs. This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... In agriculture and gardening, beneficial insects perform valuable services, like consuming pests, and pollinating plants. ... A microorganism or microbe is an organism that is so small that it is microscopic (invisible to the naked eye). ... Binomial name Bacillus thuringiensis Bacillus thuringiensis is an aerobic endospore-forming bacterium that lives in the caterpillars of some moths and butterflies. ... Organic farming is a way of agriculture that relies on ecosystem management rather than external agricultural inputs. ... Hazard is a term used in evaluating safety: A hazard is a potential unwanted event. ...


See also: environmentalism. Environmentalism is the support or involvement with the environmental movement by environmentalists. ...


 
 

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