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http://grist.org/food/relax-california-isnt-about-to-dump-pesticides-on-organic-farms/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Daily%2520Nov%252013&utm_campaign=daily

By Nathanael Johnson
13 Nov 2014 12:40 PM

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There’s a story going round right now that makes it sound like the California Department of Food and Agriculture is planning to spray pesticides on organic farms, forcing them to go conventional. What’s actually happening is a lot less exciting, but still worth knowing about.

First, the background: Yes, the state of California does pest control — and that’s a good thing. Insect control doesn’t work very well if it’s done in a patchwork. You knock out some here and some there, but the bugs between those patches thrive and come back stronger the next year. This is especially true when you’re dealing with a non-native organism that’s just been introduced. If you can get rid of those pioneers, you have far less need for pest control in the long run.

For about the last 20 years, California has used integrated pest management — which means it tries to handle problems without chemicals, if at all possible. Often this means using biological controls, releasing predators or parasites that will kill the pest.

For instance: Every day, an airplane flies over the Los Angeles basin, releasing a stream of sterile male Mediterranean fruit flies. Those flies go out and mate with the females, preventing them from reproducing. It works, and it has prevented farmers from turning to pesticides.

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And then there are times when the state decides that the best way to deal with a pest is with a chemical pesticide. And yes, if the state decides it really needs to, it can spray on someone’s farm, even an organic farm. That has actually occurred, said Steve Lyle, spokesperson for the California Department of Food and Agriculture, but it’s incredibly rare.

All this has been going on for years. But now the state has put out a new environmental impact report that details everything it does in pest control. The individual programs — like the Mediterranean fruit fly program — all have their own environmental approvals. All this new report does is put everything into one document and update it. “This doesn’t give us any new authority,” Lyle said.

Still, this is an opportunity for stakeholders like the organic farmers to weigh in. Most of the time, the state’s pest control doesn’t happen in farmland. But it could.

In an email, Lyle wrote:

[I]n rare cases, it may be necessary for the Department to require treatment by producers. While a great deal of time and resources are dedicated to finding organic approaches, if a suitable approach cannot be identified, a producer would not lose organic status. The organic industry worked with regulators to make sure that provision is in federal law.

The draft report notes that, in this scenario, organic farmers would lose money, because they’d have to sell their crop without the organic premium that season. But they could return to organic production the next year. Individual farmers would pay a price — but in the long run, there would be less spraying overall, and fewer losses for organic farmers at large.

 

 

 

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The Gympie Times

12th Aug 2014 5:17 AM

http://www.gympietimes.com.au/news/new-lures-use-pheromones-trap-and-monitor-bugs/2348506/

NEW innovative lures for trapping major horticultural pests will soon give growers an effective tool for better on-farm integrated pest management.

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry business manager Jodie Campbell said the new traps would help growers control both banana spotting bugs and fruit spotting bugs, leading to less crop damage and improved productivity.

“Banana spotting bugs and fruit spotting bugs are two major pests of a wide range of tropical and subtropical crops including avocado, macadamia, papaya, mango, limes and custard apples,” she said.

“These pests were notoriously difficult to monitor, which is a large reason why growers in tropical and sub-tropical regions of Australia were forced to use broad-spectrum cover sprays.

“After more than 20 years of research and development, DAFF entomologists are now seeing very promising results from these new lures that use pheromones to trap and monitor the bugs.

“The pheromone lures have been effective in attracting both male and female spotting bugs and the ‘sticky panel’ trap component we designed is highly effective at catching these bugs.

“We are now at the stage of working with a commercial partner to maximise the potential of the lures to benefit the Australian horticultural industry.

“This is great news for growers, who will be able to access this technology from around mid-2015.”

Organic Crop Protectants was selected as the commercial partner to take the innovative lure technology to the market.

“OCP is a well-qualified company that has been commercially focused in the business of integrated pest and disease management for over 20 years,” Ms Campbell said.

“OCP’s plan will be to support further research and optimise the lures and traps into an integrated pest management system.

“The aim is to provide effective integrated pest management tools that give farmers better confidence to make the transition to more sustainable farming practices.”

The selection of OCP as the commercial partner for the new traps was undertaken through an open, competitive tender process by DAFF and Horticulture Australia.

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Philippines Invasive Species Aug  2014-5a

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Annual Report 2013
Posted on May 27, 2014 by Kelly Izlar
The IPM Innovation Labs’s FY 2013 (October 1, 2012–September 30, 2013) annual report is now available. Click below to download the document.

http://www.oired.vt.edu/ipmcrsp/publications/annual-reports/annual-report-2013/

For users with lower bandwidth and/or with interest in only certain specific topic areas, we will split individual chapters and major sections out of the Annual Report for you to view individually. Check back in the coming weeks for a list of individual chapters and sections for download. For more information contact: rmuni@vt.edu

Table of Contents

Management Entity Message
Highlights and Achievements in 2012–2013

Regional Programs
Latin America and the Caribbean
East Africa
West Africa
South Asia
Southeast Asia
Central Asia

Global Programs
Parthenium
International Plant Diagnostic Network (IPDN)
International Plant Virus Disease Network (IPVDN)
Impact Assessment
Gender Equity, Knowledge, and Capacity Building

Associate & Buy-In Awards
Indonesia
Nepal
Bangladesh

Training and Publications
Short- and Long-Term Training
Publications

Appendices: Collaborating Institutions and Acronyms

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Tips for a good strawberry crop
By Christine Schlueter
news@agrinews.com

Date Modified: 06/24/2014 2:28 PM

Questions are coming in about problems with strawberries. What can be done to have a good strawberry crop?

Good cultural practices — including site selection, cultivar selection, proper planting, irrigation, renovation and frequent harvest — all contribute to a satisfying harvest each year. These practices seek to produce the healthiest plants by avoiding situations that favor the development of diseases or contribute to insect infestations.

Irrigation systems that avoid getting the leaf surfaces wet are preferred, such as drip systems or a soaker hose. If a sprinkler system is used, water plants in the mornings on a sunny day to allow leaf surfaces to dry quickly.

If possible, strawberries should be rotated to different areas of the garden every three to four years. Land that has been in strawberries for four years or more can build up a population of root-rotting pathogens. Straw mulch reduces winter injury, and plants that have less winter injury have reduced disease. Straw mulch is equally important in spring and summer because it reduces fruit and flower diseases by covering the soil and reducing spore movement carried by raindrop splash. When removing straw in spring, up to 1 inch of straw should be left between rows to keep fruit off the soil and reduce weeds.

Renovation helps control diseases and insect pests by disrupting their life cycles. First, the plants are mowed and clippings removed. It helps to control diseases by removing older leaves that are infected by leaf spot or fruit rot pathogens. This helps to control insects by removing their food source and potential breeding sites.

If plants are grown in rows, renovation is a good time to thin widening rows back to their original width. It will improve airflow through the patch and reduce the time that leaf surfaces are wet, which can reduce disease severity.

Regardless of the size and shape of your strawberry patch, it’s best to mow or cut the foliage back before Aug. 1. A new canopy will develop by mid-August. To have a good crop the following year requires healthy, thriving plants from post-renovation to dormancy in the fall. Pay attention to the health of your plants in this time period.

There are many different insect pests of strawberries. Some of these pests will be present every year, and some you will never see, depending on the history of your garden and surrounding landscape. The most common insect pests in Minnesota are tarnished plant bugs, strawberry bud weevils, slugs, sap beetles and flower thrips.

Today’s approach combines many management methods into an integrated whole called Integrated Pest Management. IPM practices have enabled growers to place an emphasis on non-chemical methods while using pesticides secondarily or as a supplement while still harvesting quality fruit. The philosophy of IPM is to seek a balance maximizing yield while reducing human and environmental risk.

In IPM, pesticide applications are used only when cultural controls aren’t effective or as a supplement to cultural controls. Before using a pesticide, be certain you have correctly identified the pest and the product is effective against that organism. Don’t use products that are advertised as multi-use or 3-in-1 to manage a single pest problem because this would result in unnecessary application.

If a pesticide is necessary, choose one that is effective with the least ecological effect and environmental risk. More information about pesticide application and safety can be found at pesticide stewardship.org and at the National Pesticide Information Center. Information on the correct way to apply specific pesticides can be found on the product label. If pesticides are necessary, always use them exactly as directed by the product label.

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