Agronomy for Sustainable Development (2015) 35, 1199-1215
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Eight principles of integrated pest management
Agronomy for Sustainable Development 35 (4), 1199-1215
Abstract: The use of pesticides made it possible to increase yields, simplify cropping systems, and forego more complicated crop protection strategies. Over-reliance on chemical control, however, is associated with contamination of ecosystems and undesirable health effects. The future of crop production is now also threatened by emergence of pest resistance and declining availability of active substances. There is therefore a need to design cropping systems less dependent on synthetic pesticides. Consequently, the European Union requires the application of eight principles (P) of Integrated Pest Management that fit within sustainable farm management. Here, we propose to farmers, advisors, and researchers a dynamic and flexible approach that accounts for the diversity of farming situations and the complexities of agroecosystems and that can improve the resilience of cropping systems and our capacity to adapt crop protection to local realities. For each principle (P), we suggest that (P1) the design of inherently robust cropping systems using a combination of agronomic levers is key to prevention. (P2) Local availability of monitoring, warning, and forecasting systems is a reality to contend with. (P3) The decision-making process can integrate cropping system factors to develop longer-term strategies. (P4) The combination of non-chemical methods that may be individually less efficient than pesticides can generate valuable synergies. (P5) Development of new biological agents and products and the use of existing databases offer options for the selection of products minimizing impact on health, the environment, and biological regulation of pests. (P6) Reduced pesticide use can be effectively combined with other tactics. (P7) Addressing the root causes of pesticide resistance is the best way to find sustainable crop protection solutions. And (P8) integration of multi-season effects and trade-offs in evaluation criteria will help develop sustainable solutions.
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