Integrated pest management (IPM) is a long-term pest prevention program that focuses on ecosystem-based strategies for the control of pest-related issues. This is accomplished through a combination of techniques including biological control, habitat manipulation, modification of cultural practices and the use of resistant cultivars. The use of chemical pesticides is then restricted to applications only after strict monitoring that is based on established guidelines indicates that stronger measures are required for pest management. In the event that chemical agents are required, they are applied in a targeted manner intended to minimize risks to the environment, other organisms (especially beneficial and non-target organisms) and to human health.
The 8 principles of IPM are as followed:
- Intelligent production practices shall be used. These can include crop rotation, sustainable cultivation techniques, resistant/tolerant cultivars and certified seed production systems, balanced fertilization, irrigation and drainage techniques, proper hygiene measures and the protection and proliferation of beneficial organism.
- The use of biological, physical and non-chemical control methods must be preferred to chemical options as long as the non-chemical options provide acceptable pest control.
- In the event that pesticides must be applied, they shall be target-specific and strategically applied in an effort to reduce negative health outcomes.
- Pesticides shall be used only on an as-needed basis and the frequency and intensity of use should be minimized in order to reduce the risk of resistance populations.
- In cases where pest resistance has been established and repeat pesticide application is necessary, anti-resistance strategies should be integrated into control efforts.
- Record keeping is essential and should be based on detailed records in order to determine the efficacy of pest control programs – especially in the case of chemical inputs.
- Monitoring efforts are essential in order to track pest presence. This can be accomplished via observations, forecasting and early diagnosis systems and information, as well as information from professionally qualified.
- The information garnered by monitoring efforts shall be used to determine when and which plant protection measures will be taken. There should be scientifically supported threshold values upon which to base decision making. Said values should be adapted to local conditions including climate, crop type, and topographical qualities.