FFS participants learn about insect pest management.
There are many methods to manage pests. For many farmers the most obvious method is chemical control with synthetic insecticides. But this is also the most dangerous and destructive method, causing health and environmental problems. Synthetic pesticides should be used only as a very last choice, when all other options have been tried first.
Insects can be managed by:
- Use of resistant or tolerant varieties
- Crop rotation
- Botanical pesticides (e.g. neem)
- Bio-control agents: insect pathogens
- Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)
- Biological control
- For example yellow sticky traps
- Managing the micro-climate
- Chemical control
- Only to be used as a last option
- Select the least toxic product available
- Never use class Ia or Ib chemicals
- Avoid organophosphates and carbamates
- Don’t use chemicals that are known to cause cancer, or to disrupt the endocrine system
- Before using any chemical, first collect information about it (e.g. www.pesticideinfo.org)
- Use spot applications. Do not treat the entire filed, but only the parts where pests are causing problems. Keep other areas free of pesticide as a refuge for natural enemies.