Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Pests’ management strategies under organic farming

These management strategies consist of methods for prevention of attacks by insects, mites and vertebrates like birds, from reaching damaging levels in organically grown crops.
1.      Crop rotation: Prevents build up of harmful insects and diseases by providing different plant hosts. It also helps a variety of natural predators to survive which helps in pests’ control.
2.      Nutrient management: Good nutrient management enables plants to grow vigorously and resist pest attack
3.      sanitation: Good sanitation removes pests habitats such as crop debris
4.      Beneficial organisms: Provision of habitats for beneficial organisms. This can be done by reducing the use of pesticides that kills the beneficial insects.
5.      selection of resistant varieties which have inbuilt prevention or tolerance of attack
6.      Crop protection using physical barriers such as row covers
7.      Crop diversification through companion planting or establishment of poly-cultures .An example is planting main crop with garlic or onions as they are repellants due to their strong smell.
8.      Biological pests’ control: This involves the use of beneficial organisms to reduce plant pests’ population in organic farming. Examples of beneficial insects includes lady birds, praying mantis, lace wings, pirate bugs, parasitic wasps and predatory mites which are effective for controlling other mites.
9.      Use of naturally occurring pesticides. NB: Synthetic substances are prohibited in organic farming. Pesticides with different mode of action should be rotated to minimize development of pesticides resistance. Naturally derived pesticides allowed for use on organic farming includes:-
·        Bacillus thuringiensis( a bacterial toxin)
·        Pyrethrum(chrysanthemum extract)
·        Spinosad (a bacterial metabolite)
·        Neem ( a tree extract)
·        Rotenone ( a legume root extract)
Synthetic pesticides allowed for use in organic farming includes insect pests control soaps, horticultural oils for insect management depending where the plant is are exported. European Union, America and Asia have different standards. Read