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Collectively, however, alternative methods should generate synergies resulting in satisfactory pest management. Their cost could become more attractive if pesticide steering taxes currently under consideration in several European countries are introduced. More on the evaluation of protection measures is provided below under Principle 8. There is a wide range of non-chemical but direct pest control measures such as soil solarization or biological control, but their availability, efficacy, or pertinence varies considerably.

Though various biotechnical methods have been developed, pheromone-based mating disruption is probably the most advanced and successful of such techniques Fig. Key insect pests of apple and grape such as codling moth, summer fruit tortrix , smaller fruit tortrix , and grapevine moths are effectively controlled with mating disruption.

The use of live natural enemies represents a major non-chemical IPM tool that could be further developed. Whereas biological control agents are well developed in protected crops, significant opportunities for their use still exist in other systems such as arable crops.

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The use of Trichogramma against the European corn borer Ostrinia nubilalis is one of the few successful examples. The target specificity of natural enemies is an environmental asset that nevertheless presents challenges for biocontrol producers who are not assured high returns on their investment. Also, the use and handling of biological control agents require fine-tuning and specific skills best addressed via public-private research initiatives, education, and training ENDURE c.

Innovative screening protocols that focus on important factors beyond mere efficacy will make it possible to tap into promising taxa of microorganisms outside the presently limited source of biodiversity Kohl et al. Beyond the production and marketing of live biological agents, the cropping system and the landscape into which these organisms are released also needs to be taken into account to optimize and sustain their efficacy.

There is a growing interest in better understanding ecological processes at the landscape level to achieve area-wide IPM based on the action of natural enemies. Rusch et al. For weeds, where biological control options seldom apply, many effective agronomic, mechanical, and physical control methods are available. They can be incorporated into Integrated Weed Management strategies to reduce impact of weeds and over-use of conventional herbicides over the long-term. Ideally, such strategies integrate preventive, cultural, and direct chemical or non-chemical tactics.

A number of non-chemical direct methods such as suppressive winter cover crops, stale seedbed technique, pre-emergence cultivation, more dense crop stands, interrow precision weeding, and use of hoes equipped with tools for intra-row weeding are feasible Fig. They have been successfully applied in maize-based cropping systems and other row crops without jeopardizing yield Vasileiadis et al. There is still a need to work out strategies based on knowledge of weed biology and the ecology of crop weed interactions that combine crop rotation, cultural control, non-chemical control methods, and chemical control using smart application technologies and adapt them to local circumstances.

Direct non-chemical measures can cause undesired effects on other components of the pest-weed-disease complex. Changes in pest management could therefore be associated with monitoring of secondary pests. The effective use of non-chemical alternatives requires a new mindset seeking synergies gained from the combined effect of alternative methods that may individually be less efficient or convenient than synthetic pesticides.

IPM seeks to reduce reliance on pesticides. When prevention and alternative control methods by themselves do no yield satisfactory results, however, selective pesticides are also used. In this situation, Principles 5, 6, and 7, which presuppose pesticide use, become relevant. Sound selection of pesticides to minimize unwanted health or environmental effects including negative effects on pest regulation is essential Fig. The undesired non-target impacts of broad-spectrum insecticides on arthropod natural enemies are well documented. In Switzerland, in the early s, the excessive use of non-selective pesticides in orchards and vineyards nearly eradicated predatory mites and caused acaricide resistance among spider mites.

To minimize disruption of biological control of pests and improve IPM, products more compatible with beneficial arthropods are favored. Databases can be consulted online for this purpose. Biological agent commercial companies—such as Koppert or Biobest—also provide information covering pesticide effects on the beneficial arthropods they deliver. Alternatives to more persistent molecules are being developed Czaja et al. Selective biopesticides represent a particularly desirable alternative to chemical pesticides, but a wider range of such products needs to be made available.

Some biopesticides are available on the market, but the number of bioherbicides remains low Cantrell et al. The further development of biopesticides faces the same regulatory constraints as their synthetic pesticide counterparts as they fall under the same regulations Villaverde et al. IPM regulation and implementation in that region tackled both pesticide quantity and quality with the aim of reducing impact on human health and the environment while maintaining economically acceptable production.

Only pesticides with a lower impact on human health and the environment were allowed in the new IPM system. A number of existing databases and the further development of biopesticides offer desirable options for the selection of products minimizing impact on human health, the environment, and biological regulation of pests. Reducing doses, application frequency, and resorting to partial application of pesticides contribute to the IPM goal of reducing or minimizing risks to human health and the environment.

In fact, national pesticide plans have adopted reduced use as their overall quantitative time-bound goal. Expressing reduction in terms of volume used automatically generates a downward trend due to a switch to more potent products. Although the present authors consider reducing dose rates as secondary to reducing reliance on pesticides, we acknowledge it as a tactic along the IPM continuum that can be judiciously combined with other ones: use of resistant cultivars, applying thresholds concerning disease intensity rather than frequency combined with advanced decision-support systems.

One aspect to consider applying reduced doses is the potential influence on the risk of pesticide resistance developing in the pest population, which is the focus of the next principle. Reduced pesticide use, in terms of frequency, spot spraying, or dose reduction is a recognized tactic along the IPM continuum that can be combined with other ones. The number of pest species resistant to pesticides is increasing and jeopardizing the efficacy of many products.

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The resistance of insect pests to insecticides was a major initial driver for the development of IPM Stern et al. There are now many instances of resistance among all pest categories. For example, Podosphaera xanthii , the fungus causing cucurbit powdery mildew quickly developed resistance to demethylation inhibitor fungicides McGrath et al. This issue is particularly acute for weed management because very few new herbicidal modes of action remain available Heap ; Duke The increased likelihood of over-reliance on a narrow spectrum of molecules threatens the viability of conventional cropping systems where spatial and temporal diversity is low.

There is a debate on the relationship between use of pesticide doses lower than that recommended on the label, sublethal effects, the hormesis effect, and the evolution of resistance to pesticides. An aside to this question regards the converse situation—pesticide over-use—which probably contributes significantly to the evolution of pesticide-resistant pest biotypes.

There are many situations where appropriate lower doses can be recommended without increasing the risk of inducing non-target resistance. Such a situation is reported with Phytophthora control in potato, as long as information on pest incidence, phenology, susceptibility to pesticides, and canopy structure, is included in decision-making Cooke et al. In any case, there is no consistent evidence and no consensus among crop protection scientists that reduced pesticide dosages are related to resistance development.

The authors believe that the debate is not precisely where it should be. Bearing in mind that no unequivocal relationship exists between pesticide dose and efficacy, a focus on efficacy levels rather than pesticide doses seems more pertinent Kudsk The new vision of sustainable pesticide use focuses on a desirable control level that is then related to the selection pressure due to the biological activity and persistence of the active ingredients concerned. Of course, the combination of chemically based tactics can help to reduce the evolution of resistance.

For example, combining fungicides with different modes of action, application timing, and splitting applications did lead to more reliable resistance management strategies van den Bosch et al. It is also possible to monitor the occurrence of resistance to guide decision-making. This is precisely what the EuroBlight network mentioned above is engaged.

It monitors Phytophthora infestans and provides updated multi-country information on new resistant isolates. If we take a step back to look at the larger picture, we find that the root causes of increased risk of resistance are associated with the over-simplification and intensification of cropping systems e. This has been shown for weeds in continuous cropping situations Neve et al. Focusing on weeds, Owen et al. But this is probably true for the whole range of pests.

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To reduce the selection of resistant pest biotypes and lengthen the commercial lifespan of pesticides, farmers can strive for a higher level of IPM, consider the spatial distribution of tolerant varieties or non-host crops, and make full use of preventive measures see Principle 1.

The root causes of increased risk of evolution of non-target resistance can be addressed by revisiting over-simplification and excessive intensification of cropping systems. Principle 8 encourages farmers to assess the soundness of the crop protection measures they adopt, and this is an important aspect of sound management.


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The delicate point here regards the evaluation criteria used. Farmer interviews showed that absolute yield—irrespective of profit—and total absence of pests, i. Such traditional assessment methods can impede the development of alternatives. IPM-compatible assessment could cover multi-season effects, trade-offs with other compartments of production and economics, as well as human health and the environment.

New IPM-adapted performance criteria and standards of reference could integrate these factors at a cropping system and agroecosystem level. Many positive effects of IPM strategies are multi-year, and effective evaluation therefore covers all crops of the rotation over more than one season. This is particularly pertinent to the management of weed seed banks, accumulation of soil-borne pathogens, resistance development of pathogens, and unpredictable insect outbreaks.

A process of re-thinking and reassessing evaluation needs to be initiated. It would emphasize the evaluation of yield, yield stability, and profit over multiple years at the cropping system level. Lechenet et al. Research and extension work at the farm community level will develop new standards of reference, and performance criteria can become widely shared among farmers. Sustainability in pest management calls for new evaluation criteria that take into account multi-season effects and a diversity of trade-offs, and can be widely shared among the farmer community.

With the Framework Directive on the sustainable use of pesticides, the European Union is embarking on achieving the mainstream use of IPM. Widespread adoption entails applying this sustainable pest management approach to a great diversity of biophysical and socio-economic farming situations. In addition to the diversity of farming situations, IPM practitioners contend with the intricacies of agronomic and ecological processes that are taken into account when reducing reliance on pesticides.

A set of general principles, on the other hand, makes up a flexible approach that can be adapted to local realities. That is why developing a pest management approach in terms of general principles makes sense. Applying the set of eight principles via an outcomes-based approach rather than enforcing intermediate goals may have the added benefit of encouraging adaptation and creativity while generating environmental and health benefits.

From the point of view of policy makers and program managers, the essential issue is to create the conditions that enable farmers to move along the IPM continuum over the long-term. Other European countries are initiating this process. In the latter countries, bridging this gap to ensure that IPM principles are integrated into farming practices is all the more challenging.

She points out the need to strengthen state advisory services and find a balance between providing administrative support versus advice on sustainable practices. This new structure is creating a network of funders to coordinate national IPM-related programs. Different countries are adopting different strategies to promote IPM. Other countries, such as France with its national action plan to reduce reliance on pesticides, embed IPM in other programs.

The approach may be considered as part of a stepwise process along the IPM continuum. Several countries are developing crop-specific IPM guidelines inspired from the Integrated Production guidelines produced by the International Organization for Biological and Integrated Control Baur et al. The survey mentioned above found 14 out of the 16 Member States having produced or planning to produce such guidelines Dachbrodt-Saaydeh Further developing decision-support systems and their use across borders is receiving particular attention in European National Action Plans.

The type of target selected for each National Action Plan also varies. France adopted a quantified pesticide reduction target expressed in terms of treatment frequency. Germany and Switzerland emphasize risk reduction and Denmark underscores health and environmental load. For the success of IPM as a sustainable management practice, what matters in the implementation approach is to allow the expression of the dynamic, multi-actor, systemic, and knowledge-intensive nature of IPM.

Eight principles of integrated pest management

Many of the IPM levers operate at a multi-year scale within a process of coordination among multiple actors and institutions. Research and extension efforts will therefore yield results with a certain lag time in an environment where more permanent types of funding, institutions, and educational initiatives are tailored to the needs of IPM.

With climate change and the acceleration of global trade, uncertainties and the frequency of emergence of existing and new pests will rise. Increasing our ability to quickly adapt to disturbance and climatic change will therefore become all the more important Barzman et al. IPM, if understood as the dynamic application of principles to local situations rather than short-term single tactics, can generate the capacity to adapt and achieve the levels of resilience needed. We hope it will help identify those research, education, and extension efforts that will make the mainstreaming of flexible, locally adapted and practical IPM a more widespread reality.

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Skip to main content Skip to sections. Advertisement Hide. Download PDF. Eight principles of integrated pest management. Review Article First Online: 24 July The concept was initially developed by entomologists faced with indiscriminate broad-spectrum insecticide use and insect outbreaks caused by the elimination of natural enemies and the emergence of pesticide resistance. IPM now applies to all aspects of plant protection. It is the object of renewed attention as European policy, research, and extension efforts strive to mainstream it across the European Union. These recent modifications reflect an increasing interest in understanding and working with ecological processes.

IPM, however, is a multi-faceted approach drawing on many disciplines and involving several economic sectors. It is a difficult field when it comes to producing clear recommendations applicable to the diversity of European agriculture Barzman et al.


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Open image in new window. Principle 2—monitoring Harmful organisms must be monitored by adequate methods and tools, where available. Principle 3—decision-making Based on the results of the monitoring the professional user has to decide whether and when to apply plant protection measures. Principle 4—non-chemical methods Sustainable biological, physical and other non-chemical methods must be preferred to chemical methods if they provide satisfactory pest control. Principle 5—pesticide selection The pesticides applied shall be as specific as possible for the target and shall have the least side effects on human health, non-target organisms and the environment.

Principle 6—reduced pesticide use The professional user should keep the use of pesticides and other forms of intervention to levels that are necessary, e. Principle 7—anti-resistance strategies Where the risk of resistance against a plant protection measure is known and where the level of harmful organisms requires repeated application of pesticides to the crops, available anti-resistance strategies should be applied to maintain the effectiveness of the products.

Principle 8—evaluation Based on the records on the use of pesticides and on the monitoring of harmful organisms the professional user should check the success of the applied plant protection measures. The eight principles and their numbering actually result from a logical sequence of events. Principle 1 Prevention and suppression comes first because it encompasses the initial design and actions undertaken at the cropping system level to reduce the severity and frequency of pest outbreaks.

Principles 2 Monitoring and 3 Decision-making , which come into play once the cropping system is in place, are based on the idea that in-season control measures result from a sound decision-making process that takes into account actual or predicted pest incidence. In the event that an intervention is decided, Principles 4 to 7 offer a sequence of control options that can be explored starting with the least preoccupying ones first.

Principle 8 Evaluation closes the loop by ensuring that users look back and assess their actions in view of improving the entire process. Altieri MA, Nicholls CL Soil fertility management and insect pests: harmonizing soil and plant health in agroecosystems. Soil Tillage Res — J Econ Entomol — Delivery times may vary, especially during peak periods.

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Simple steps to keeping your plants healthy, from the experts at the RHS Follow RHS know-how and show-how for identifying pests and diseases and keeping your garden looking great all year round with the minimum time and effort. Practical tips and step-by-step will show you how to prevent pests and diseases from taking over your garden, from recognizing symptoms to curing and controlling problems. Get results, whether you're a green-fingered guru or a gardening novice. For more step-by-step gardening advice, pick up other titles from this series.

Simple Steps to Success: Pests and Diseases

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