- Introduction to IPM
- What is a pest?
- Key IPM principles
- Management components of IPM
- IPM resources
- Source of information and related tools
Growers have reported that adopting ICP strategies has helped them to regain control over chemical-resistant pests; minimise worker and environmental impacts; minimise synthetic pesticide use and residues; satisfy consumers and the marketplace; reduce costs; and meet quality assurance requirements.
Pests are organisms that cause damage or loss, or pose a risk to a crop. Pests are insect pests, mites, diseases, weeds, and some nematodes, invertebrates (snails and slugs) and animals such as mice and rats. It is important to remember that not all insects and mites are pests and to learn which ones are beneficial and assist in pest management.
- Know the history and nature of the pests in the seedling nursery and on your farm
- Be proactive – aim for prevention rather than eradication
- Make sanitation on-farm your first priority after worker safety
- Monitor your crops and growing environment often
- Record crop and pest observations
- Gain confidence in ICP through education, observation, and action
- Access training in the ICP principles for yourself and your staff
- Use available resources – consultants, researchers, books, fact sheets, and the internet
- Understand why the ‘integrated’ approach is essential for success.
Cultural, physical, or mechanical optionsThese options allow the crop to avoid, resist, or delay interaction with the pest. They include good crop hygiene, site selection, fallow periods, crop-free periods on a regional level, planting date changes that consider insect pest flights, minimising old/new crop overlaps, resistant varieties (see below), crop rotation, roguing diseased plants, insect screens, removal of pest habitats, and restricted people movements.
Chemical optionsChemical options involve the use of natural, biological, or narrow-spectrum chemicals to alter pest behaviour, attract insect pests for monitoring, reduce the presence or impact of pests, or change the attractiveness of the host crop. ‘Soft’ pesticides are those chemicals or biological agents that provide effective control of a pest with reduced impact on beneficial species.
Varietal optionsResistant varieties limit the impact of pests and should be used whenever available and horticulturally suitable.
Biological optionsThese options rely on natural enemies or introduced organisms that limit the impact of a pest, e.g. practices that boost or extend the habitats and populations of beneficials, parasitoids, antagonists, and predators, or which promote a crop’s acquired resistance. Beneficials include all predatory insects, mites, and spiders; parasitic wasps, nematodes, and flies; and fungi or bacteria that attack pests or outcompete them for potential infection sites.
Click on any of the following categories to learn more about specific IPM measures used for vegetable crop groups and key vegetable pests.