As the weather starts to warm up, growers can expect to see insect numbers climb, too. The best way to prevent economic losses from insect pressure is to adopt an integrated pest management or IPM plan. Tanner Lowrey, area business manager for crop protection manufacturer, Atticus, has some advice for growers when it comes to managing the insects Mother Nature throws at them this season.
“Anytime is a good time or relevant time to discuss when insects might be a problem and when they're going to be a problem. You need to pay attention to the weather and pay attention to what's going on out in the field, what kind of season you're in, how vulnerable the crop is, things like that help you manage insects. And not just a spray schedule, integrated pest management as a whole is kind of an all-encompassing approach, it's just trying to keep the field clean, trying to watch overwintering things for insects, making sure you're right on your timing with your insecticides, but not just relying on insecticides solely.”
Lowrey says a good IPM plan starts with identifying the pests in your field and monitoring them…tape
“After that, you can look at the damage that they're doing and assess kind of what your threshold is on when you want to go after them and whether you can justify the spray on it or not. Consult guidelines with people that you're working with to take management actions and when to take management actions. Another big thing is just trying to prevent any kind of pest problems that you can before they happen. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Use biological, cultural, physical, mechanical, and chemical tools together that's kind of IPM in a nutshell.