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Integrated Pest Management (IPM) helps growers select the best tool to manage pests.

There are five steps in this strategy:

  1. IDENTIFY key pests and understand their lifecycles, including what naturally eats/kills them - natural enemies and climatic conditions.

  2. PREVENT pests from being in your crop or increasing in numbers to the point of causing economic damage. It may be that the pest is: not present at particular times of the year, unable to develop on specific varieties - best choice for disease prevention -, or is worse when crops are over or under watered or fertilised.

  3. MONITOR crop for pests and numbers. Pheromone traps help identify which of the two heliothis species is dominant. Yellow sticky traps help monitor thrips species and numbers. Prediction models should be used to indicate periods when pests or diseases are most likely to be present if available.

  4. CONTROL the pest when numbers are causing economic damage. This can involve: mechanical methods -chipping weeds or diseased plants -; biological methods - introduce a beneficial insect or use biological spray; or chemical methods.

  5. EVALUATE immediate effectiveness of direct controls and overall success of the program. Identify potential areas for improvement and develop a plan for future plantings.

Integrated Pest Management in Lettuce
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The factors most likely to affect pest & disease control decisions include:

  • Varietal susceptibility

  • Pests and diseases found 

  • Do weather conditions favour spread or development

  • Is disease transmitted by an insect vector

  • Numbers and source of the insect pest

  • Numbers and persity of beneficial insects

  • Crop vigour and stage of growth

  • Irrigation methods

  • Crop destination - export, domestic, fresh, processing

  • Effectiveness of control options.

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Victorian Vegetable Industry - 2014

Summary of the location, structure, production and performance of Victoria's vegetable industry prepared by the Victorian State Government in 2014. In... Read more...

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