Integrated Crop Management (ICM) is a pragmatic approach to the production of crops, unlike Integrated Pest Management (IPM) which focuses on crop protection, ICM includes more aspects. This can include such things as IPM, soil, social and environmental management. Over recent decades the focus on crop production has moved from yields to quality and safety, then more recently sustainability. This results in new challenges for farmers and growers each season. The Syngenta approach to ICM is aiming to combine all aspects of crop inputs and management to achieve the needs of the producer and consumer.
Syngenta Bioline are producers of beneficial insects and mites and focus mainly on high value crops such as vegetables, fruit and flowers.
Syngenta has invested in extensive development trials for the use of ICM programmes in many different crops grown in different countries under varying production systems and climates. Each year further trials are conducted to incorporate new products and to take account of changes in pest threats and food retailer demands. The use of biological controls has traditionally been in protected vegetables but more recently their use has increased in fruit and flower crops. More crops are being added to the list each year.
What is Biological Pest Control?
Biological Pest Control is using natural organisms such as beneficial predators or parasites, microbial products or plant extracts to control pests and diseases. It has become well established within protected crops and some field crops around the world. Where a biological control approach is taken chemical controls are only used as a last resort.
Why use Biological Pest Control?
Pests in protected crops are provided with an ideal environment in which to live and breed,with equable temperatures, humidity and plenty of plant material on which to feed. Such conditions can result in very rapid multiplication of pests which, until now, has necessitated regular and routine spray programmes. Intensive programmes have, in turn, often led to the development of ‘super bugs’ – strains that are resistant to some of the active ingredients in chemical sprays.
Is Resistance a real threat?
Spider mite (Tetranychus urticae) was the first glasshouse pest to develop resistance in 1949. More recently leafminers, aphids, whiteflies and thrips have developed resistance to a wide range of chemicals, putting in doubt the continued successful use of some pesticides as a means of control. In recent years pesticide resistance in vegetables, fruit and flower production has developed very often due to the overuse of chemical controls. As the range of chemical solutions becomes more limited the development of resistance to existing controls is an increasing problem faced by growers.
Syngenta Bioline ICM programmes
As an effective partner for chemicals, we produce natural enemies (beneficial predatory insects and mites) for use in Integrated Crop Management (ICM) or Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programmes – programmes which also take into consideration chemical choice, usage and the cropping system.
Any use of natural enemies has to be carefully planned, by understanding each nursery (pests, diseases, cropping systems and rotations, etc.) and its particular problems. The better the understanding of these important parameters, the better the results.
Today growers are under ever increasing pressure to produce their crops using sustainable methods and approaches. Under an Integrated Crop Management (ICM) approach all aspects of production should consider economic, social and environmental impacts of each decision.
When considering pest and disease control, the use of biological control should be incorporated with physical and chemical controls. Which control to use should be taken as part of an overall management system which incorporates crop monitoring and decision making approaches.
(Source – http://www.syngenta.com/global/bioline/en/icm/pages/integratedcropmanagement.aspx)