Principle of IPM: Regular field observations

Principles of IPM

Grow a healthy crop

Principle of IPM: Grow a healthy crop

Healthy plants are stronger and thus better equipped to withstand attacks by pests and diseases. Many factors have an effect on the health of the crop:

  • Good variety
  • Healthy seeds and healthy seedlings
  • Land preparation
  • Correct spacing
  • Soil improvement
  • Fertilizer management
  • Water management
  • Crop rotation

Understand and conserve defenders

Principle of IPM: Conserve defenders

The term “defender” is sometimes used instead of “natural enemy”, because a natural enemy of a pest is a defender of the crop. In Integrated Pest Management farmers:

  • Know defenders and understand their role through regular observations of the agro-ecosystem
  • Avoid the use of poisonous chemicals that kill the natural enemies of pests

Observe the field regularly

Principle of IPM: Regular field observations

In Integrated Pest Management farmers manage the crop based on information about the actual field situation. They don’t use “calendar spraying” to control pests. Therefore farmers:

  • Monitor the field situation at least once a week (soil, water, plants, pests, natural enemies, etc.)
  • Make decisions based on the field situation
  • Take direct action when needed (e.g. collect egg masses, remove infested plants, etc.)

Farmers become experts in crop management

Principle of IPM: Farmers are experts in crop management

Farmers have to make daily decisions about the management of their crops. IPM farmers have learned to make these decisions based on observations and analysis of the field situation. But as field conditions continue to change and new technologies become available farmers will need to continue improving their skills and knowledge:

  • Farmers are capable of improving farming practices by experimenting
  • Farmers can share their knowledge with other farmers

Principles of IPM

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