When describing integrated pest management (IPM) techniques, recording when you do not take action, such as not applying a chemical, could be just as important as noting when you do.
At an Arable Weed Week webinar, Rob Gladwin, head of technical management at BASF, Phil Jarvis, chairman, Voluntary Initiative and Mike Green BASF agricultural sustainability manager discussed the growing importance of IPM.
Mr Gladwin said there tends to be a misconception that growers reach for the spray can first. “This is not the case. In the cultural control aspect there are lots of things such as machinery cleaning, drilling date, cultivation techniques and rogueing. There is not one blueprint for a particular field.”
Crop monitoring, use of resistant varieties and care with spraying, using appropriate nozzles and taking account of the weather were also key, said Mr Jarvis. “Recording your decisions is important. If you monitor you can manage. The conditions may be such that you don’t have to do it [spray].”
Also speaking at Arable Weed Week, Yorkshire farmer Richard Hinchliffe said: “I have not used any insecticides this season because insects were within thresholds; it was a very cold winter. Because this is not recorded no-one can see the benefit to beneficial insects. The key thing with IPM is we need to demonstrate to the public and government what we are not doing. When we put a PPP on we record that. In the future it may be beneficial or even compulsory to record IPM decision making.”