Ground Cover Supplement : GC Supplement - Integrated pest management
GROUND COVER INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT 16 Two heads better than one for IPM BROADACRE CROPPERS WHO have moved from a chemical control program for crop pests to integrated pest management (IPM) report cost savings of between $4 and $25 a hectare. However, according to consulting entomologist Neil Hives, from IPM Technologies Pty Ltd, reduced input costs are rarely the main motivation for adopting IPM. IPM Technologies has been working with AgVise and their clients near Inverleigh, Victoria, since 2005. Case studies from this work and information generated by research funded by GRDC, and via the Southern Farming Systems and the Grain & Graze project, are included in a new publication by Paul Horne and Jessica Page, Integrated Pest Management for Crops and Pastures. One of the first questions Neil asks a farmer when they are considering starting IPM, is how far and how fast they want to change their system. IPM is a year-round, whole-farm approach to pest management and this can be big shift in mind-set and practice. "Generally, growers consider IPM because they want to be more environmentally friendly and take a whole-farm approach to pest control, or they are desperate for a solution because chemicals are not providing one," Neil says. James Richardson's case study is reported in the publication. James farms 2700ha, with 360ha cropped to canola, wheat and barley, at Darlington, Victoria. The mixed-farming system has 75ha of irrigation and an annual rainfall that should be 650 millimetres. For James, there were four reasons for implementing an IPM program on his property: ninsects becoming resistant to chemicals; nhe did not like the damage insecticides do to the environment; nfinancial benefits from encouraging natural predators to deal with problem pests rather than spraying; and nthe opportunity to improve the farm environment. Neil suggested that James start IPM on three paddocks: one sown to canola, another to barley and the third to red wheat. All of these paddocks had a history of slugs, redlegged earth mite (RLEM) and aphids. Neil monitored each paddock on a weekly basis, from a couple of weeks prior to seeding until crops were well established (usually six to eight weeks). This takes the guesswork out of knowing what is going on in the crop; clients are working with real and relevant information. In autumn and winter, pest species are considered to be resident in the paddock or paddock perimeter. In a typical part of the paddock and on each boundary, pitfall traps -- containers filled with water and buried level with the soil surface -- and tiles were set up to collect paddock residents, both beneficial and IPM IN ACTION Working with an IPM consultant has helped Victorian grower James Richardson successfully adopt sustainable pest management Regular, systematic monitoring of pest and beneficial species is essential: it would be impossible to spot these parasitised aphids from the ute.
GC Supplement - Foliar fungal diseases
GC Supplement - Spray application technology