"IPM is a sustainable approach to managing pests by combining biological, cultural, mechanical and chemical tools in a way that minimizes economic, health and environmental risks".
Aims of IPM
Reduce the use of synthetic organic pesticides
That are environmentally sound
Pest minimal risk of human health
Re-useable return on investment
Provide consumable safe food
Principles of IPM
Identification of key pests and beneficial organisms
Defining the management unit, the Agro-ecosystem
Development of management strategy
Establishment of Economic thresholds (loss & risks)
Development of assessment techniques
Evolving description of predictive pest models
Tools of IPM
Monitoring : Keep tracks of the pests and their potential damage. This provides knowledge about the current pests and crop situation and is helpful in selecting the best possible combinations of the pest management methods.
Pest resistant varieties : Breeding for pest resistance is a continuous process. These are bred and selected when available in order to protect against key pests.
Cultural pest control : It includes crop production practices that make crop environment less susceptible to pests. Crop rotation, cover crop, row and plant spacing, planting and harvesting dates, destruction of old crop debris are a few examples. Cultural controls are based on pest biology and development.
Mechanical control : These are based on the knowledge of pest behaviour. Hand picking, installation of bird perches, mulching and installation of traps are a few examples.
Biological control: These includes augmentation and conservation of natural enemies of pests such as insect predators, parasitoids, pathogen and weed feeders. In IPM programes, native natural enemy population are conserved and non-native agents are released with utmost caution.
Chemical control : Pesticides are used to keep the pest population below economically damaging levels when the pests cannot be controlled by other means. It is applied ONLY when the pest's damaging capacity is nearing to the threshold.