Ground Cover Supplement : GC Supplement - Integrated pest management
17 INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT GROUND COVER IPM IN ACTION pest species. Soils were sampled, direct searches carried out and plants 'vacuumed' for bugs. In spring, pest and beneficial insects are more likely to fly in, so sweep nets, sticky traps and crop vacuuming are the main tools for sampling insect populations at this time. Neil usually increases the monitoring interval to once every two weeks, unless there is a particular pest outbreak. As an experienced entomologist, Neil is able to provide on-the-spot identification and assessment of the proportions of species present. He emphasises that it is the relationship between detrimental species that is important, rather than the total number of beneficial and pests found. IPM is based on three tenets: noptimising beneficial species to act as a natural biocontrol of pest species; nthe use of cultural controls to minimise damage by pest species and to boost populations of beneficial species; and nstrategic use of chemicals that target specific pests. "In the first year we often find that populations of beneficial species have been decimated by previous practices," Neil says. "They can take three or four years to return in significant numbers and, in this period, the use of cultural and softer options is especially important." In the first year of monitoring of James' canola paddock, a high level of RLEM were recorded around the edge of the paddock, and Neil suggested insecticide should be used, but only around the paddock border, to about 12 metres from the fence. An unsprayed test strip was to be left to see what happened if no action was taken. Due to high winds and misty rain, the border spray of insecticide did not occur that week. The following week, Neil reported that the number of predatory mites had increased and these were holding back the population of RLEM. At this point James decided not to proceed with a boundary spray. Not only did this decision save James $11/ha, it helped his beneficial populations increase; these mites would have been killed by the border spray, and it gave him confidence in the IPM process. Canola yield was not compromised, and the perimeter and remainder of the paddock yielded 2.4t/ha. "This situation is very typical," Neil says, "where we see the removal of a prophylactic insecticide program resulting in no detrimental affect on the crop." James is delighted with his move to IPM, he has not sprayed any insecticide on any crop or pasture on his property for the past three years. In his mind, there is no question that IPM works: "You just have to have the courage to resist spraying," he says. □ GRDC Research Codes IPM0001, IPM0002 More information: Neil Hives, entomologist, IPM Technologies, 03 5345 6407, firstname.lastname@example.org IPM FOR CROPS AND PASTURES Entomologists Jessica Page and Paul Horne (above), co-authors of Integrated Pest Management for Crops and Pastures, are passionate about controlling insect pests, including bushflies. Copies of Integrated Pest Management for Crops and Pastures are available from CSIRO Publishing (www.publish.csiro.au, search for 'IPM') for $49.95. James Richardson's boomspray spends more time in the shed since his move to IPM: he has not sprayed any pesticides for the past three years.
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