Organic Pest Management

Rick: Pest control is is very difficult in organic farming and one thing that I always tell organic farmers not to do is to try to think that they’re going to farm just like a conventional farmer and substitute organic pesticides instead of conventional pesticides and into that system it really has to be a systems approach where a lot of the effort goes into preventing past problems rather than then trying to cure them so for example you want to do everything you can to encourage natural enemies Tom: When I classify beneficial insects I like to think of at least three groups Uh those insects that are predators and and parasites on the insects that we consider pass those insects that are pollinators because an awful lot of plants are insect pollinated and they depend on the insect to transfer the pollen and the third thing would be insects that are what we call recyclers are decomposers because they then recycle plant material get it back into the nutrient cycle and the world continues to go if if people ask me what’s most important thing you can do to encourage beneficials in your garden I tell ’em plant flowers that gives them a food resource I tell them to be careful how and when you spray because a lot of beneficial insects are active during the day but aren’t at night so if you have the need to use an insecticide let’s say then make sure you spray at night so you would avoid the present so the beneficials gives insecticides a little chance to dry up and then if they come in the field the next day they’re unlikely to be impacted as directly as if you spray them so I tell them to plant flowers and spray at night and basically know whose the good guy Rick: But don’t do anything that’s going to kill those natural enemies up because they’re very very important in terms of keeping that pest population under control

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