Integrated Pest Management
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a sustainable system of pest management used by farmers which reduces the use and reliance on potentially harmful chemicals by incorporating preventive cultural, mechanical, physical, biological and chemical controls in a compatible manner. By using IPM, growers help to make agriculture safer for consumers, farmworkers and the environment alike.
PRINCIPLES OF INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT
IPM not only focuses on existing pests challenges but also on reducing pest invasions, emergence and resident populations.
A successful IPM program focuses on the following implementation approach:
IPM is not a single pest control method but rather an integration of pest management strategies.
IPM techniques are grouped into:
Growing practices which prevent establishment, survival, and reproduction of pests. Examples include:
- Cleaning of equipment,
- Weed management,
- No-till or zero tillage,
- Media sterilisation,
- Nutrient and soil management (RHIZATECH, pHUSION, TRIDENT, RIGEL-G, SIRIUS, EZYFLOW).
Mechanical and Physical Control
Exclusion or trapping of pests using physical barriers and mechanisms. Examples include:
- Attract and trap mechanisms,
- Sticky cards (STICKTECH YELLOW and BLUE)
- Roller traps (OPTIROLL),
- Hanging traps (DELTA TRAP),
- Pheromone lures.
- Plant-free buffer zones,
- Constructed growing areas
- Indoor grow houses.
Use of natural pest predators, antagonists and beneficial organisms to manage pest populations. Examples include:
- Predators (AMBLYTECH, AMBLYTECH C, HYPOTECH, MONTECH, PHYTOTECH)
- Parasitoids (DIGLYTECH, ENCARTECH)
- Entomopathogenic Nematodes (NEMATECH S, NEMATECH H, SLUGTECH)
- Entomopathogenic Fungi (BEAUVITECH, LECATECH)
- Nematophagous Fungi (MYTECH)
- Beneficial Soil Fungi and Bacteria (TRICHOTECH, BACTECH)
- Viruses (HELITEC)
Involves the intelligent use of insecticidal soaps, insect growth regulators, botanicals and selective less toxic pesticides. Synthetic chemical pesticides are used only when needed and play more of a supportive role, assisting in more effective, long-term management of pest populations. Examples include:
- Botanical extracts (NEMGUARD, SULFATECH)
- Soaps (PROTEC K)
Dudutech at Flamingo Horticulture
Dudutech epitomises the Flamingo ethic of long-term sustainability and is committed to producing products which contribute positively to the health and wellbeing of society. Supplying 17 different indigenous biological control products into the Flamingo farms, Dudutech has helped instill a culture of low pesticide farming. By identifying the major causes of pesticide use and designing integrated biological solutions to reduce reliance on these chemicals, Dudutech facilitated a 90% reduction in synthetic pesticide use in roses between 2003 and 2013.
The increase in soil fertility and reduction in pesticide use has brought about other, excellent benefits for horticulture. Spraying with synthetic pesticides stresses plants and reduces photosynthetic activity and plant growth. With fewer sprays in the crops there is an increase in production and quality; bigger, shinier, more disease resistant leaves, and better post-harvest storage characteristics. Improved soil fertility resulting from a diversity of beneficial organisms and extra organic matter creates a living soil that interacts positively with the plants, increasing root volume, fertiliser and water uptake, and growing a stronger plant that is more productive and resistant to diseases. This reduces reliance on synthetic fertilisers and results in a higher nutrient value product with better storage properties.