Integrating Integrated Pest Management

[MUSIC PLAYING] Well, today, we’ll be
talking about integrating integrated pest management. So farmers are faced with
many different pest concerns that they have to contend with. There are insects that can
defoliate the entire crop. There are weeds that can compete
with the crop plants for light, moisture, and nutrients. And there are many
plant pathogens that can cause
disease epidemics that can spread throughout the crop. To combat any one
of these problems, we can use integrated pest
management techniques, that is, using multiple methods
to try and control any one pest problem. For example, we can
consider how insecticides may affect not just the pests,
but non-targets as well. Pyrethroid insecticides
can be used to manage certain pests, such
as psyllids, leaf hoppers, for lygus bugs,
quite successfully. But their use can
trigger outbreaks of other pests, like aphids,
thrips, or even spider mites. And that’s because the
pyrethroids kill off the natural enemies of
these particular pests, allowing those pest
populations to build up. Therefore, it’s important to
weigh the costs and benefits of different management tactics
on the overall crop production. Another practice
we can keep in mind is when we tank mix different
classes of pesticides. The tank mixing is
an efficient means to save time and money
because we need to make fewer trips through the field. However, keep in mind that many
of today’s newer insecticides need to be absorbed into the
plant in order to be effective. In contrast,
protective fungicides are formulated so
that they spread out across the leaf
surface of the planet, and this helps them to
stop the spread of disease across the leaves. So if these materials–
an insecticide that needs to be absorbed
and a fungicide that needs to spread out–
are simply tank mixed, the fungicide can
actually interfere with the effectiveness
of the insecticide. Therefore, we would want to
add a chemical adjuvant that helps the insecticide penetrate
into the plant surface to make the tank mix effective. Even more complex
interactions can exist in agricultural systems. Pests such as a aphids
can breed and reproduce on a number of different
weeds, including weeds like nightshade. And some of these weeds
are also hosts for viruses, such as Potato virus
Y, or PVY, which is a devastating viral
pathogen of potatoes and is actually
transmitted by aphids. Therefore, if you have good weed
management in and around potato fields, it can help contribute
to improved control pest insects, such as aphids and
insect-transmitted plant pathogens by reducing the
reservoirs for these insects and viruses. So in conclusion,
remember to keep in mind the different
approaches you can use to manage any particular
pest, whether it’s an insect, a weed,
or a plant disease, and then keep in mind how
these different management techniques for one pest
may affect management of other pests. So try, again, to integrate
your different integrated pest management programs
so that you’ll be able to produce a successful,
sustainable, and economical crop in the end.

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