Eliminating farm pests
SARE's new bulletin, A Whole-Farm Approach to Managing Pests discusses ecological approaches to pest management and highlights cases in which farmers are using innovative methods to manage pests. These holistic strategies emphasize knowledge of cropping systems, biodiversity and farm resource management. Practices that produce healthy crops and keep insects, weeds and diseases away focus on:
creating healthy crop habitat
reducing disturbance to soil and non-crop vegetation
minimizing off-farm inputs
Focusing on the farming system rather than on each individual pest can make pest control across the whole farm more effective and sustainable. Ecological pest management strategies can provide other benefits, such as improved soil health and biodiversity maintenance.