Submitted to: The Sunflower
Publication Type: Popular publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/20/1995
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Integrated Pest Management incorporates all appropriate methods from many scientific disciplines into a systematic approach to optimize pest control. Knowledge about the pest, its number, and the established economic thresholds are required. Identifying the pest damaging the crop is an important first step and allows the producer to check published information on the biology of the pest, its importance, the type of damage it produces, and different strategies to reduce feeding losses. In addition to knowledge about the insect, the relationship between pest numbers, amount of damage and cost of management must be considered. The bottom line is, will the number of insects in the field result in feeding injury that causes an economic loss to the crop greater than the cost of managing the pest. The break-even point is called the economic injury level. The use of the economic threshold prevents producers from treating when not warranted. This saves money since control is only initiated when pest numbers exceed the threshold. There are a number of factors considered in determining the economic threshold for the pest including the projected market price of the crop, the cost of the management, and the plant population. Good management practices require that the crop be monitored for a variety of reasons. Checking for insects is just one part of this process. The objective of field surveys is to determine if the numbers present can be tolerated or if they exceed the economic threshold. In summary, the foundation of pest management is correctly identifying the pest, monitoring the crop for the pest of concern, and utilizing established economic thresholds to determine whether any action is needed.