How pest control decisions are made with sustainable farming practices.

Responsible farmers use pest control products responsibility. When walking through a farm field or orchard there is a lot going on that isn’t always obvious to the untrained eye. It is a living system and in order to keep a sustainable system in balance there is a lot to evaluate. Just because there are pests out there doesn’t necessarily mean that you call out the machines and blast them away. Many people think that farmers are always spraying for pests but more often than not, my weekly inspections of farmers’ fields do not call for any spraying at all. When I am checking a field I am actually counting the pests, looking at any damage they may be doing and deciding if the pest populations and the amount of damage they are doing are something the farmer can live with. Using the tools of Integrated Pest Management there are bug traps , sweep nets (like kids use to catch butterflies) , counting pests on a certain number of leaves or fruit, all to take a sample of what is there, how much damage if going on, what kinds of natural control may be going on and how much the situation has changed since the last check. Sounds complicated? Well it is. That is why there are trained, licensed people out there checking and evaluating what is going on. Decisions are made based on what is going on in the field, is the damage beginning to get to the point the crop yield is going to be economically damaged? Are the natural controls going to be able to keep the pests in check or is there something that can be done to augment that system? Many times sprays can be used to knock down the pest levels to a point where natural control can take over and balance is restored. Pest sprays are not meant to completely clean out the entire natural system. When used responsibility they can help farmers grow our food safely and with very low environmental impacts.

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One response to this post.

  1. Well, that is what we called responsible farming. Indiscriminate spraying of pest is not a total answer to eliminate it completely.Instead, think of the necessity to balance the impact in the environment.

    Reply

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