What is Integrated Pest & Disease Management (IPM)?

Integrated Pest & Disease Management (IPM) is the proper use of all the good agricultural practices we have, in order to control crop problems.

Why to apply Integrated Pest & Disease Management (IPM)?

For optimal production in terms of quality and quantity with the least possible impact on the environment, the user and the consumer.

How do I apply Integrated Pest & Disease Management (IPM)?

With the use of more friendly solutions for the crops and the environment with emphasis on sustainability.

What are the advantages of Integrated Pest & Disease Management (IPM)?

  • Cost lower than chemical control
  • Solution to the problem of pests resist
  • Labor savings
  • Harvesting without PHI restrictions
  • Increase production
  • Increasing workers efficiency
  • Maintaining competitiveness
  • "Use" of nature as an ally

The most important IPM tools are described below.

Healthy soil

A healthy soil or substrate is the basis for a healthy crop. By soil health or substrate we mean:

biological: the minimal presence of harmful organisms or diseases from the soil. Also, the presence of beneficial microorganisms, ie organisms that enrich the microbial composition of the rhizosphere. The presence of beneficial microorganisms causes systemic resistance and helps plants grow better.

chemical: the balanced presence and availability of soil elements or nutrient solution.

physical: the porous structure of the soil or substrate that allows communication between the rhizosphere and the air.

Variety (hybrid) selection

Varieties can differ significantly in their susceptibility to pests and diseases and their behavior in different environments.

Planting method

This technique helps to create similar conditions in each plant, leading to a more uniform cultivation. Thus, we avoid the creation of weak plants which are more vulnerable to pests and diseases.

Crop hygiene

Crop hygiene really starts with the previous crop: removing debris (removing contaminated plants, weeds and other sources of crop contamination) from the previous crop helps reduce or delay the contamination of the new crop. Cleaning the structure of the greenhouse (mainly spaces, vestibules, surrounding areas) with everything that exists is also important.

Monitoring

Frequent and systematic scrutiny is crucial to the success of an Integrated Pest and Disease Control (IPM) Program. Early detection of pests and diseases leads to timely action when the levels of pests or diseases are low and the actions are more effective. Observation with adhesive traps, pheromone traps and magnifying glass are essential tools for detection and monitoring.

Financial limits for IPM application

Pests or diseases can exist in a crop without causing financial damage. It is obvious that the level of "economic threshold" varies depending on the combination of harvests and pests or diseases. Knowledge of these limits and the dynamics of pests and natural enemies help to avoid unnecessary (chemical) interventions.

Beneficial insects

Preventive release of natural beneficial insects / mites. Natural enemies must be introduced early in the growth of the parasite population to be more effective. In some cases it is necessary to release natural enemies even before the emergence of harmful organisms.

Mass trapping

It is a fact that natural enemies are not commercially available for all pests. Also, in some cases, natural enemies need help. Mass trapping techniques help control the flying stages of pests such as flour mites and thrips. For some other parasites, pheromone traps can make mass trapping more effective.

Proper nutrition for better plant health

Plant tissue analysis data revealed clear relationships between nutrient composition in leaves and susceptibility to pests or diseases. Plant nutrition management is becoming an important tool in plant health management. For example, lower nitrate levels in plant tissue slow down the growth of mites, flours and other harmful organisms without degrading production or quality.

Combination of IPM and crop

Knowledge of the cultivation cycle and crop management is essential for the best implementation of the IPM program. For example, the technique of removing foliage from tomato plants plays an important role in the way in which parasitic populations (Eretmocerus sp.) And predators (Macrolophus pigmaeus, Nesidiocoris tenuis) develop.

Climate management

Proper management of planting season, water balance, energy and assimilation contributes to a healthy crop less vulnerable to pests and diseases.

Biopesticides

There are three categories of biopesticides.

Bacterial insecticides are based on bacteria, fungi, fungi or viruses and can be used for biological control of pests and diseases such as Trianum (Trichoderma harzianum) and Bacillus thuringiensis.

Biochemical products based on plant extracts or metabolites (neem, vegetable oils).

Sexual pheromones are the best known example of semi-chemical. Biopesticides provide a wide range of tools for non-chemical pest and disease control. Biopesticides are generally compatible with natural enemies, but there are exceptions.

Chemical pesticides

When non - chemical tools are not fully capable of maintaining pest or disease levels below the economic threshold, there is often the possibility of using chemical pesticides with little effect on natural enemies or microbial plant protection products.