Prevent the build-up of pests
The Crop Protectors can anticipate some pest threats and take action to prevent pest populations from growing to a destructive level.
Crops can withstand a little damage from insects, diseases and weeds, but if the pest takes over the farm field, it can have a big impact on the farmer’s livelihood and the region’s food supply. Farmers use a wide variety of agronomic practices to prevent pest populations from building up to economically damaging levels.
Here are some of the Prevention tools in a farmer’s Integrated Pest Management (IPM) toolbox:
Growing crops in locations where they are best suited to the climate, soil and topography provides them with optimal conditions from the start.
Choosing beneficial crop varieties, such as those with disease and pest resistance, has always been a cornerstone of IPM. This might include choosing conventional or biotech varieties.
Strategic Planting and Crop Rotation
Sowing different crops in alternate rows or under sowing a crop like maize with a legume can improve soil fertility and reduce weeds. Growing different crops in rotation also helps reduce the build-up of pests.
Mechanical, physical and cultural crop protection methods prevent or minimize pests. These methods also reduce their build-up and carryover from one crop to another.
Careful irrigation can control weeds, save water and protect beneficial soil organisms.
Optimizing Plant Nutrition
Applying nutrients at the right time in the correct amounts can optimize soil health and help crops withstand attacks from pests.
Harvesting and Storage
Good harvesting, seed cleaning and storage methods can reduce the carryover of weed seeds and disease-causing organisms.
Protecting natural habitats near farmland is the best way to conserve biodiversity, including many natural pest enemies.
Check back soon – we’ll be posting GIFs and infographics on Step 1: Prevent Pests. In the meantime, download our Integrated Pest Management brochure to learn more.