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Focus On Integrated Pest Management


Chemical-Free Pest Management 

Listen to the latest technical advice from our experts, who discuss a variety of IPM topics and how you could help improve crop management.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to crop protection, according to Rodney Bell, CEO of CropLife South Africa. Fortunately, farmers have a diverse toolbox at their disposal to safely control or manage pests and diseases. They can minimise damage from pests by using state-of-the-art chemical and biological products, advanced data analytics, and precision technologies.

Bell says that implementing an integrated pest management (IPM) programme makes sense.

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“Consumers are increasingly demanding food that is produced in a sustainable manner. Farmers need to be more conscious of the pest control methods they apply on their farms and look at implementing an IPM system.

“In many instances, the overuse of chemical pesticides has led to issues such as pesticide resistance, outbreaks of previously suppressed pests, and environmental contamination.

“IPM systems evolved as a response to manage pests in agricultural crops through a combination of biological, cultural, physical and chemical control methods.”

Agricultural consultant Andrew Bennett explains that IPM is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices.

“IPM programmes are based on gathering information on the life cycles of pests and their interaction with the environment, and are used to manage pest damage to crops by the most economical means with the least possible hazard to people and the environment.”

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He adds that managing or controlling pests and diseases in this way is a broad-based approach that integrates various practices in an economically viable manner.

“It’s an adaptable system that looks at the most suitable application or action to address the specific problem or need. In the process, each method is evaluated and decisions are based on proper information and applied in a way that makes practical sense.


“Once you understand the concept of IPM, you can make informed decisions about your pest- and disease-control requirements as well as the methods to employ. The end result is a customised approach to pest control that’s based on sustainability.”

IPM is not a single pest-control method, but rather a series of actions involving evaluations, decisions and controls that are based on four pillars: threshold determination, prevention, monitoring and control.

Integrated pest management (IPM) helps farmers reduce their dependence on chemicals to fend off pests, while improving biodiversity and environmental sustainability.

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