Ground Cover Supplement : GC Supplement - Integrated pest management
3 INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT GROUND COVER KNOW YOUR BUGS DEBUGGING THE SYSTEM Learning how to identify pest and beneficial species, and regular monitoring, will help growers move from prophylactic to strategic applications of insecticides TWO PRIMARY REQUIREMENTS for implementing a successful integrated pest management (IPM) strategy are the ability to correctly identify pest and beneficial species and to regularly monitor both populations. At Insect Identification Workshops supported by the National Invertebrate Pest Initiative (NIPI), participants learn how to identify larvae, aphids, mites and beneficial insects and about resistance issues, control options and the principles and practices of IPM. IPM aims to maximise the use of biological and cultural controls of crop pests. It is not 'organic' as IPM does not exclude the use of pesticides. With IPM the aim is to strategically use insecticides in situations where they achieve the best results in terms of pest control, without decimation of beneficial populations. The over-use of chemicals does several things. It kills non-target species that could be providing some level of pest control. It places immense selection pressure on pest species to develop resistance. And it is responsible for secondary pest outbreaks and polluting the environment. The use of IPM aims to minimise these negative impacts. The strategic use of selective, 'softer' insecticides -- for example, pirimicarb for aphids -- is an extremely effective way of reducing target pests, while preserving their natural enemies. "Knowing what pest and beneficial species are present, and the interactions between them, is the knowledge required before an appropriate control decision can be made," says Judy Bellati from the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI). "The sooner we can minimise the use of prophylactic applications of pesticides the better. "Paddock monitoring and accurate identification of both beneficial and pest insects are essential if growers are to confidently reduce reliance on routine applications of broad-spectrum pesticides and move to more selective products and alternative control tactics to target the pest of concern." Together with Ken Henry and Paul Umina, Judy Bellati presents the Insect Identification Workshops and has co-authored the new Crop Insects: the Ute Guide (Southern Region Grain Belt edition). This comprehensive guide identifies about 100 pests of growing and stored grain, as well as beneficial and biological-control insects and biosecurity pest threats. Species are illustrated with high-quality photographs of the key life stages and images of damage symptoms. Information is divided into a description, similar species, damage symptoms, and when and how to monitor. There is also useful information on insect development and lifecycles, a glossary of terms and details on how to collect and prepare insect specimens. To successfully identify pest and beneficial species, Judy Bellati recommends growers have a copy of the new Crop Insects: the Ute Guide, a sweep net and a 10-times-magnification hand lens. She also encourages agronomists to invest in a basic dissecting microscope, to help them improve accuracy of insect identification. Feedback from the workshops has been extremely positive with participants finding the workshops fun and very informative, with a good mixture of theory and practical information. Judy Bellati reports that the workshops grew out of feedback from subscribers to PestFacts, a free electronic newsletter service now in its third year (see page 19). A free diagnostics service is provided through PestFacts. Judy has noticed a marked improvement in the accuracy of identification of samples submitted to this service, which she believes is an outcome from the Insect Identification Workshops and the support service provided through NIPI. Copies of the new Crop Insects: the Ute Guide (Southern Region Grain Belt edition) are available from Ground Cover Direct (free phone 1800 11 00 44, email@example.com, or www.grdc.com.au/director/events/ bookshop). More information on workshops is available from the presenters. □ GRDC Research Codes RSS00003, CSE00046 More information: Judy Bellati, research officer, SARDI Entomology Unit, 08 8303 9670, firstname.lastname@example.org; Ken Henry, senior technical officer, SARDI Entomology Unit, 08 8303 9540, email@example.com Accurate identification of pest and beneficial species is fundamental to implementing IPM. Judy Bellati and Ken Henry, SARDI.
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