When considering a new product for your integrated pest management (IPM) plan, 1. Why should a cannabis cultivator consider a water-soluble pest. Act ()1 will permit adults to cultivate up to four canna- considering both wide-scale and regionally oriented preven- . the use of soil-based vs. hydroponic grow systems, the include venting furnaces or water heaters directly into the to potentially hazardous products to control cannabis pests. Peer advice on. This article presents common techniques and facts regarding the cultivation of the flowering . Giving too much water can kill cannabis plants if the growing medium gets When using soil as a growth medium, the soil should be allowed to dry . based medicines has further pushed the envelope of cannabis cultivation in all.
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Natural systems provide evidence that this is not always an appropriate approach for plant defense. In the case of the protease inhibitor in tomato and potato cited above, these materials are constitutively expressed in the fruit but only induced by damage in leaves We suggest that this system has been selected in nature because it is the most durable strategy.
A system of constitutive expression in fruit but only inducible in leaves experiencing damage by feeding insects provides maximum protection of the fruit. Leaves serve as a decoy alternative for feeding by caterpillars but possess a mechanism that limits feeding damage.
We must observe and consider natural systems when developing strategies for novel traits such as a gene for producing Bacillus thuringiensis Bt toxin, i. For example, cotton cultivars with a full constitutive expression of Bt toxin have been introduced commercially.
This practice amounts to a continuous spraying of an entire plant with the toxin, except the application is from inside out. However, we urge more concerted efforts toward breeding and engineering plants with traits such as tissue-specific and damage-induced chemical defenses that work in harmony with natural systems.
Genetic engineering and other such technologies are powerful tools of great value in pest management. But, if their deployment is to be sustainable, they must be used in conjunction with a solid appreciation of multitrophic interactions and in ways that anticipate countermoves within the systems.
Otherwise, their effectiveness is prone to neutralization by resistance in the same manner as with pesticides. Therapeutics have a valuable role in ecologically based pest management strategies, but they should be viewed as backups rather than as primary lines of defense.
Also, therapeutics should be recognized as potentially disruptive and used as unobtrusively as possible. The key principle is that they should be geared toward bringing a pest organism into acceptable bounds with as little ecological disruption as possible. A wide array of therapeutic products are available, and more are being developed with modern technology. A vast arsenal of natural products identified from plants, insects, and microorganisms is being synthesized and formulated for use as biopesticides.
Semiochemicals such as sex pheromones and natural enemy attractants can be used as baits and lures to disrupt pest activity and promote natural enemy presence.
Pathogens, parasitoids, as reared in vivo or in vitro , are available and are being touted as therapeutic tools. Still, our primary pest management tactic should be maximization of built in pest reduction features of an ecosystem. Therapeutic tools should be used as secondary backups.
Overreliance on them will return pest management strategies to a treadmill situation Fig. Another problem is the tendency to seek therapeutics that give us the quickest effect.
Generally, microbial organisms work slowly relative to synthetic pesticides. Therefore, industry has as first priority formulation of microbials to obtain faster kill and is less interested in long term pest reduction effects. Thus, the role that microbials could play in orchard and forest pest management, as well as in programs like control of grasshoppers in Sahelian, Africa, is neglected Retarded development of pests may be more desirable than quick kill in certain situations.
For example, Bt products are considered unacceptable for controlling beet armyworms in cotton because of their slow killing action. Yet, some studies indicate that a slow kill may be more preferable when examined from a larger perspective. As indicated above, C. Beet armyworm larvae intoxicated by sublethal dosages of MVP Mycogen, San Diego a Bt-derived biopesticide experience retarded development and feeding and are subject to higher parasitism than nontreated beet armyworm larvae A similar effect was reported earlier for Bt and a parasitoid of gypsy moths A quick kill may provide more immediate results but destroys a resource for parasitoids and limits their presence with subsequent generations of pests, thus leading to resurgence.
We must remember—our primary objective in pest management is not to eliminate a pest organism but to bring it into acceptable bounds. The role of therapeutics is not to replace natural systems.
Rather, their role is to serve as complements while the system is temporarily out of balance. From that perspective, it is clear that interventions that interfere with the restoration of balance are counterproductive. The benefits of a total system approach would be immense, directly to farming and indirectly to society. The approach takes into account impacts on our natural resources such as the preservation of flora and fauna, quality and diversity of landscape, and conservation of energy and nonrenewable resources.
Long term sociological benefits would also emerge in areas of employment, public health, and well being of persons associated with agriculture 42 , In The Netherlands, prototypes of various multidisciplinary, arable farming systems have been evaluated on a semi-practical scale The size of the farm was 72 hectares almost acres. Among other studies, integrated and conventional farming practices were compared for seed potatoes, dry peas, carrots, onions, sugar beets, and winter wheat.
Crop protection and other management practices with the integrated approach followed the basic principles discussed herein. They found that pesticides, and fertilizers, can be decreased through implementation of alternative practices based on intensified knowledge of the ecosystem. Artificial fertilizers are replaced by organic manure and effective use of crop residues.
Insect, weed, and disease problems are reduced through natural control by the enriched natural enemy fauna, the use of weed-competitive or disease- and pest-resistant varieties with an emphasis on durable systems for resistance , reduction of nitrogen fertilization, and judicious use of chemical pest control based on careful population sampling and decision thresholds.
Results from these demonstration farms have been so encouraging that implementation of integrated farming is being enforced by the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture to reduce environmental pollution and to create a firmer basis for survival of agriculture in the longer term. Yields were somewhat lower on the demonstration farms but were compensated for by cost reduction through lower pesticide and fertilizer inputs.
Thus, the net short term profits of the demonstration farms were equal to those of the conventional farms. We emphasize the short term economic aspect of sustainable farming because immediate profitability figures, along with the environmental concerns, are crucial to adoption of the practices. However, the eventual consequences of conventional farming are so severe, environmentally, socially, and economically, that it is wise to initiate changes even under situations in which short term economic benefits are marginal.
Bio-friendly agriculture and good economics, over the long term, clearly go hand in hand. Recent quests for effective, safe, and lasting pest management programs have been targeted primarily toward development of new and better products with which to replace conventional toxic pesticides. We assert that the key weakness with our pest management strategies is not so much the products we use but our central operating philosophy. The use of therapeutic tools, whether biological, chemical, or physical, as the primary means of controlling pests rather than as occasional supplements to natural regulators to bring them into acceptable bounds violates fundamental unifying principles and cannot be sustainable.
We must turn more to developing farming practices that are compatible with ecological systems and designing cropping systems that naturally limit the elevation of an organism to pest status.
We historically have sold nature short, both in its ability to neutralize the effectiveness of ecologically unsound methods as well as its array of inherent strengths that can be used to keep pest organisms within bounds. We are grateful to Karen Idoine and Drs. Rogers now deceased , G. James Cook, and Fred Gould for providing important advice and suggestions throughout the drafting and revision of this paper.
National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer.
Accepted Aug This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract A fundamental shift to a total system approach for crop protection is urgently needed to resolve escalating economic and environmental consequences of combating agricultural pests. No Real Change Throughout the debate on alternative methods for controlling pests, various ideas have been expressed and new approaches have emerged.
New Direction The four major problems encountered with conventional pesticides are toxic residues, pest resistance, secondary pests, and pest resurgence.
Open in a separate window. Crop Attributes and Multitrophic Level Interactions. Potential Benefits The benefits of a total system approach would be immense, directly to farming and indirectly to society. Acknowledgments We are grateful to Karen Idoine and Drs. Pest Management at the Crossroads.
The Science of Sustainable Agriculture. This is mainly due to oxygen not being able to enter the root system. They begin to consume plant roots, beneficial aerobic bacteria, as well as nutrients and fertilizer. Humidity is an important part of plant growth. Dry conditions slow the rate of photosynthesis. Nutrients are taken up from the soil by roots. Nutrient soil amendments fertilizers are added when the soil nutrients are depleted.
Fertilizers can be chemical or organic, liquid or powder, and usually contain a mixture of ingredients. Commercial fertilizers indicate the levels of NPK nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
In general, cannabis needs more N than P and K during all life phases. The presence of secondary nutrients calcium , magnesium , sulfur is recommended.
Because Cannabis' nutrient needs vary widely depending on the variety, they are usually determined by trial and error and fertilizers are applied sparingly to avoid burning the plant.
Germination is the process in which the seeds sprout and the root emerges. In Cannabis, it takes from 12 hours to 8 days. Warmth, darkness, and moisture initiate metabolic processes such as the activation of hormones that trigger the expansion of the embryo within the seed. Then the seed coat cracks open and a small embryonic root emerges and begins growing downward because of gravitropism , if placed in a proper growing medium.
Soon after 2—4 days the root is anchored and two circular embryonic leaves cotyledons emerge in search of light and the remains of the seed shell are pushed away. This marks the beginning of the seedling stage. Germination is initiated by soaking seeds either between wet paper towels, in a cup of water at room temperature, in wet peat pellets, or directly in potting soil. Peat pellets are often used as a germinating medium because the saturated pellets with their seedlings can be planted directly into the intended growing medium with a minimum of shock to the plant.
It lasts from 1 to 4 weeks and is the period of greatest vulnerability in the life cycle of the plant, requiring moderate humidity levels, medium to high light intensity, and adequate but not excessive soil moisture. Most indoor growers use compact fluorescent or T5 fluorescent lights during this stage as they produce little heat.
HPS and MH lights produce large amounts of radiant heat and increase the rate of transpiration in the plant which can quickly dry out seedlings with their small root systems. In this stage the plant needs a significant amount of light and nutrients, depending on the genetics of the particular plant.
It continues to grow vertically and produce new leaves. The sex is starting to reveal itself, which is a sign that the next stage begins. Concurrently the root system expands downwards in search of more water and food. When the plant possesses seven sets of true leaves and the 8th is barely visible in the center of the growth tip, or shoot apical meristem SAM , the plant has entered the vegetative phase of growth.
During the vegetative phase, the plant directs its energy resources primarily to the growth of leaves, stems, and roots. A strong root system is required for strong floral development. A plant needs 1 or 2 months to mature before blooming. The plant is ready when it has revealed its sex.
Plant size is a good indicator of sex. Females tend to be shorter and branchier due to their raceme type inflorescence than males, whose flowers grow in panicles. The males are then usually culled when they are identified, so that the females will not be pollinated, thus producing "sin semilla" "without seed" buds.
During the vegetative phase, cultivators generally employ an to hour photoperiod because the plants grow more quickly if they receive more light, although a warmer and cooler period are required for optimal health. Although no dark period is required, there is debate among cultivators as to whether a dark period is beneficial, and many continue to employ a dark period.
Energy savings often support using a dark period, as plants undergo late day decline and therefore lighting during the late night hours is less effective. The amount of time to grow a cannabis plant indoors in the vegetative stage depends on the size of the flower, the light used, the size of the space, and how many plants are intended to flower at once, and how big the strain gets in "the stretch" i.
Cannabis cultivators employ fertilizers high in N nitrogen and K potassium during the vegetative stage, as well as a complete micro nutrient fertilizer.
The strength of the fertilizer is gradually increased as the plants grow and become more hardy. The emphasis on advanced cultivation techniques, as well as the availability of hybrid strains with names like Northern Lights , Master Kush , NYC Diesel , is believed to be a factor in the increase in the overall quality and variety of commercially available cannabis over the past few decades.
The Internet in particular has brought together widely diverse genetics from around the world through trading and purchasing. However, well-grown heirloom strains e. Also called the stretch , this takes one day to two weeks. Most plants spend 10—14 days in this period after switching the light cycle to 12 hours of darkness. Plant development increases dramatically, with the plant doubling or more in size. See reproductive development below.
Production of more branches and nodes occurs during this stage, as the structure for flowering grows. Pre-flowering indicates the plant is ready to flower. The flowering phase varies from about 6 to 22 weeks for pure indicas with their shorter flowering time than pure sativas. The sex is clearly revealed in the first flowering phase. Males produce little ball-like flowers clustered together like grapes called panicles.
Most plants except auto flowering strains that flower independently of photoperiod begin to flower under diminishing light. In nature, cannabis plants sense the forthcoming winter as the Earth revolves about the Sun and daylight reduces in duration see also season. If females are not pollinated fertilized by male pollen they start to produce buds that contain sticky white resin glands or trichomes in a final attempt for pollination by windborne male pollen.
Fertilized females continue to produce resinous trichomes but more plant energy is consumed by the production of seeds, which can be half the mass of a fertilized bract; thus, to maximize resin per gram, infertile cultivation is preferred. Inflorescence that produce no seeds are called sin semilla which translates to "without seeds" in Spanish, and is often misspelled as one word. Potent sin semilla is especially important to medical users, to minimize the amount of cannabis they must consume to be afforded relief.
Cannabis grown is induced into flowering by decreasing its photoperiod to at least 10 hours of darkness per day. In order to initiate a flowering response, the number of hours of darkness must exceed a critical point. Generally the more hours of darkness each day, the shorter the overall flowering period but the lower the yield.
Conversely, the fewer hours of darkness each day, the longer the overall flowering period and the higher the yield. Traditionally, most growers change their plants lighting cycle to 12 hours on and 12 hours off since this works as a happy medium to which most strains respond well. This change in photoperiod mimics the plant's natural outdoor cycle, with up to 18 hours of light per day in the summer and down to less than 12 hours of light in fall and winter.
Usually they can start flowering in July and finish far earlier than other strains, particularly those that haven't been bred as outdoor strains. Semi-autoflowering strains can be harvested before the weather in northern latitudes becomes very wet and cold generally October , whereas other strains are just finishing flowering, and may suffer from botrytis grey mold caused by wet weather. Alternatively growers may artificially induce the flowering period during the warmer months by blacking out the plants for 12 hours a day i.
Although the flowering hormone in most plants including cannabis is present during all phases of growth, it is inhibited by exposure to light. To induce flowering, the plant must be subject to at least 8 hours of darkness per day; this number is very strain-specific and most growers use 12 hours of darkness.
Flowers from certain plants e. In the first weeks of flowering a plant usually doubles in size and can triple. During this time the buds greatly increase in weight and size. Cannabis can be grown outdoors, either on natural soil or in pots of pre-made or commercial soil. Some strains perform better than others in outdoor settings, an attribute that depends on different conditions, variables and aspects. Outdoor marijuana strains, like most other strains, can be bought in numerous locations and over a hundred different cannabis strains that are bred for outdoor growing exist—many of these outdoor cannabis seeds are simply copies of other pre-existent strains or seeds with different names and descriptions.
To generate optimum quantities of THC-containing resin, the plant needs a fertile soil and long hours of daylight. In most places of the subtropics , cannabis is germinated from late spring to early summer and harvested from late summer to early autumn.
Outdoor cultivation is common in both rural and urban areas. Outdoor cultivators tend to grow indica-based strains because of its heavy yields, quick maturing time, and short stature. Some growers prefer sativa because of its clear-headed cerebral high, better response to sunlight, and lower odor emissions. Growers cultivate on their own property or practice guerrilla farming i.
For outdoor cultivation, growers choose areas that receive twelve hours or more of sunlight a day. In the Northern Hemisphere, growers typically plant seeds in mid-April, late May, or early June to provide plants a full four to nine months of growth.
Harvest is usually between mid-September and early October. In North America, northern locations are preferred North Coast of California and British Columbia being particularly notable , but southern locations such as Maui, Hawaii are also known to be good producers. Where local laws do not permit growing cannabis, cultivators sometimes grow in forests or rugged and rural areas where the local population is unlikely to find the crop. Cannabis is also grown hidden by a crop that is taller, such as maize.
This is reported by the United States government to be common in the midwestern states. Some government agencies, including the Drug Enforcement Administration DEA , have claimed that in State and National Parks people have been injured by cannabis farmers protecting their crops using booby traps; no arrests or convictions for this had been made as of [update]. Cannabis can be grown indoors in a soil-like medium under artificial light, adding fertilizer when the plants are given water.
Cultivating cannabis indoors is more complicated and expensive than growing outdoors, but it allows the cultivator complete control over the growing environment. Plants of any type can be grown faster indoors than out due to hour light, additional atmospheric CO 2 , and controlled humidity which allows freer CO 2 respiration. Plants can also be grown indoors through the use of hydroponics.
To grow plants indoors, a growing medium e. There are several different plant grow lights available. To determine the appropriate lighting and the best lamp to use , the specific needs of the plant must be considered, as well as the room size and ventilation.
Cannabis plants also require both dark and light photoperiods , so the lights need a timer to switch them on and off at set intervals. The optimum photoperiod depends on each plant some prefer long days and short nights and others preferring the opposite, or something in between. Recent advancements in LED technology have allowed for diodes that emit enough energy for cannabis cultivation. These diodes can emit light in a specific nanometer range, allowing for total control over the spectrum of the light.
LEDs are able to produce all of their light in the photosynthetically active range PAR of the spectrum. Reflectors are often used in the lamps to maximize light efficiency.
Maximum efficiency can be obtained by creating a slightly concave canopy such that the periphery and center of the canopy are both at the optimum distance from the light source. Often, the distance between lamp and plant is in the range of 0. With proper cooling any light type can be moved extremely close to plants to combat the inverse square law, but there are reasons to keep some distance from the canopy regardless of heat concerns; excessive light can cause bleaching of the plant material and the total canopy area contacted by light is decreased as the source is moved closer.
Maximum efficiency should be obtained by maximizing the average light intensity measured in PAR watts per square foot times the number of square feet of plant matter contacted. Some cannabis cultivators cover the walls of their grow-room with some type of reflective material often Mylar or Visqueen , or alternatively, white paint to maximize efficiency.
The plastic is installed with the white side facing into the room to reflect light, and the black facing the wall, to reduce fungus and mold growth. Another common covering is flat white paint, with a high titanium dioxide content to maximize reflectivity. Some growers consider Mylar sheeting to be very effective when it lines grow room walls, along with Astrofoil which also reflects heat , and Foylon a foil-laminated, reinforced fabric. When growing indoors, the cultivator should maintain as close to an ideal atmosphere inside the grow-room as possible.
Adequate levels of CO 2 must be maintained for the plants to grow efficiently. It is also important to promote vigorous air circulation within the grow room, which is usually accomplished by mounting an extraction fan and one or more oscillating fans.
Assuming adequate light and nutrients are available to plants, the limiting factor in plant growth is the level of carbon dioxide CO 2. Ways of increasing carbon dioxide levels in the grow-room include: This presents difficulties to those who are cultivating in places where it is illegal, or for growers who may prefer discretion for other reasons.
The most common way of eliminating odor is by pulling odorous air through a carbon filter. Many cultivators simply attach a large carbon filter to their air extraction system, thereby filtering any smell before the air is expelled from the grow-room. Another way of eliminating odor is by installing an ozone generator in the extraction ducting.
The air is forced past the ozone generator by the extraction fan, and the odorous air is neutralized as it mixes with the ozone; however the cultivator must ensure that the air is thoroughly mixed before it is expelled outside, lest some odor escape. Ozone itself has a distinctive smell and is harmful to living things, although the molecule breaks down quickly 20 minutes to an hour in atmospheric conditions.
However, pirimicarb had a relatively short early history in the United States; it was first registered in but was voluntarily withdrawn from the market in because of regulatory and marketing problems.
Pirimicarb was registered only on specialty crops, specifically potato and greenhouse crops, where aphids are serious pests. After initial registration, the Environmental Protection Agency EPA requested additional metabolism and residue information that would have been very expensive to gather. Also during this time, the synthetic pyrethroid insecticides were coming on the market, and many pest managers preferred products such as these that had broad-spectrum activity.
Faced with the economics of clearing regulatory hurdles as well as facing competition from the new pyrethroids, it was decided to withdraw registration of pirimicarb in the United States, even though the product continued to be used in Canada and Europe. Over the past 20 years, the climate in the United States has improved to favor the use of selective products that provide effective and economic alternatives to more broad-spectrum pesticides.
Pirimicarb is currently undergoing reregistration review in Europe. Data required for this review will satisfy some of the EPA requirements; therefore the parent company intends to once again submit pirimicarb for registration in the United States.
Had a mechanism been in place in the s to foster the development of specific pesticides by helping companies meet regulatory requirements, pirimicarb and other selective pesticides would likely be more widely used in agriculture today. Personal communication, , M.
In the case of rust diseases, a plant cultivar generally is resistant to only one specific race of a pathogen.
Other races of the pathogen can infect the plant, and the shift in race composition of the pathogen leads to a boom-and-bust syndrome of rust diseases. Strategies of resistance-gene deployment, in which fields are planted with mixtures of cultivars, each with a different race-specific resistance gene or with one cultivar containing multiple race-specific resistance genes, can be very successful in diminishing this syndrome.
Race-specific resistance genes deployed in this manner can be quite successful in controlling plant diseases. Plants also may have a general resistance to plant pests, conferred by the collective action of multiple genes. To date, resistant plants have been developed almost entirely through plant breeding. Future breeding programs will continue to rely on diverse wild germplasm as a source of resistance genes but will also incorporate resistance genes identified in research programs.
These investigations will enhance the plant's inherent strength to survive in its environment. There is good reason to believe, based on the tremendous recent progress in identifying pest-resistance genes, that numerous genes identified by these approaches will be incorporated into crop plants in the future. The promise of durable resistance can only be reached, however, if breeding programs also strive to enhance, rather than diminish, the genetic diversity of plants grown in forest or agricultural ecosystems.
Stable and long-lasting pest management will depend on the availability of crop plants with broad bases of genetic variability. EBPM will be implemented on a farm level and must be profitable for the grower. Adoption of an alternative pest-management strategy depends on its relative profitability, risk, public policies, and the information and education available to the grower.
The realistic potential of EBPM systems will, in large part, depend on how feasible those systems appear to the individuals who must implement the systems. Management systems that effectively suppress pest populations but suffer from poor profits, high risks, discouragement by public policy, or lack of available information for the grower will not be implemented. The economic feasibility of pest management must be determined by examining the economic factors a grower might consider when considering adoption of EBPM strategies.
It should be noted that a larger knowledge base is necessary to make economic comparisons of EBPM strategies. Economic feasibility, as defined by Reichelderfer , refers to the likelihood that a management system will bring net returns greater or equal to that of any other management system being considered by a grower.
A grower will be encouraged to adopt an ecologically based technology if it results in net profit at least as great as does the system the grower is currently using. Relative profit is a great incentive to adoption. Indeed, if the profit margin is great enough, growers may even be induced to alter their management styles in order to take advantage of the new opportunity.
Economic feasibility does not consider social costs and benefits, but it is the starting point for broader analysis of the desirability of a pest-management sys-. Worldwide, efforts to develop ecologically based approaches to arthropod, pathogen, and weed control for citrus production are producing diverse, effective, and economical alternatives to frequent, heavy applications of pesticides. Some of the methods noted below are well established, some are being rediscovered, and others are still in developmental stages.
In California, the California red scale Aonidiella aurantii , one of the primary citrus pests, is now controlled by augmenting populations of Aphytis lingnanensis —a parasitoid of the red scale. The control method is to release the parasitoid, commercially raised in grower-owned cooperatives, in the spring when the adult female red scale appears.
The parasitoid is active against the female red scale before it can reproduce, thus eliminating the need for multiple applications of broad-spectrum scalicides Graebner et al. Commercially produced microbial pesticides that have been investigated for use in the citrus system include the fungus Hirsutella thompsonii , which is active against the citrus rust mite Phyllocoptruta oleivora , the most important citrus pest worldwide. A commercial product currently in use for biological control of root weevils in Florida citrus is the entomophagous nematode Steinernema riobravis.
This beneficial, soil-inhabiting nematode is cosmopolitan in distribution, but occurs naturally in soils at low levels, insufficient for effective management of the weevil larvae and pupae. The degree of success with this biological-control product remains to be determined, as the product has been in use for only 3 years McCoy and Duncan, This growth regulator is an example of biologically based products that can be employed in pest management Knapp, The importance of already existing natural processes of control is illustrated by the example of the bayberry whitefly, Parabemisia myricae , an introduced pest from Japan that became established in California citrus groves.
Parasitoids of the whitefly were found in Japan, and several species were introduced into California, but without successful control. However, in populations of the whitefly declined.
It soon became apparent that a native parasitoid Eretmocerus debachi had begun to attack the bayberry whitefly and eventually reduced it from a serious pest to simply another of the many innocuous species that inhabit citrus groves. The most famous use of an exotic biological-control organism to achieve permanent control of an arthropod pest of exotic origin is the control of the cottony-cushion scale, Icerya purchasi , that threatened the continued existence of the California citrus industry in the late s.
The predaceous Vedalia beetle, Rodolia cardinalis , was introduced into California citrus groves in By , the cottony-cushion scale was no longer a threat to California citrus production DeBach and Rosen, This success in California led to similar successful introductions of the Vedalia beetle into citrus groves in Florida, Texas, and eventually worldwide in 25 other countries DeBach, The citrus tristeza virus is a serious disease organism that has crippled commercial industries worldwide.
Transmitted by aphid vectors, citrus tristeza virus has escaped attempts at management through aphid control, disease therapy, and continued efforts to develop effective host-plant resistance. Inoculation of healthy susceptible trees with a harmless ''mild strain" of the virus has been demonstrated to confer protection against subsequent inoculation with more virulent strains.
Early in , two microorganisms were registered by the Environmental Protection Agency for the biological control of postharvest diseases of citrus. The yeast Candida oliophila was registered for control of postharvest rot of citrus and apple, and the bacterium Pseudomonas syringae was registered for control of storage rots of citrus, apple, and pear Wilson and Janisiewicz, Reichelderfer and Carlson identified several factors which determine economic feasibility.
These factors can be grouped either as pest control factors or economic factors. The interrelationships between these two factors indicate how difficult it is to achieve economic feasibility, and the need for biological and social scientists to cooperate in research, development, and distribution of ecologically based management systems Headly, ; Reichelderfer, Three pest-control factors that have important effects on the economic feasibility of a pest-management system are 1 the severity of pest-induced losses, 2 the variability of pest populations, and 3 the technical efficacy of the management system.
These factors are defined in the discussion below. A pest-management approach is economically feasible only if it reduces an important pest population to an extent that it no longer limits profitability.
If even low population densities of the pest can cause serious damage, economic losses may remain too high after the management system is implemented and the relative economic benefits from the management system will decrease Carlson, ; Reichelderfer, Hence, the economic feasibility of an ecologically based pest-management system will depend on how much damage the steady-state population of the pest can cause.
Economically feasible, ecologically based control may be easier to effect for pests that can be tolerated at moderate populations without economic damage. The variability of the pest population over time and space can also affect economic feasibility of a management system.
If the pest is only a problem every few years, then an economically rational decision would be to wait until the pest surpassed an economic threshold before treating it. Waiting to employ a biological-control organism until the pest problem becomes severe, however, may not be feasible for all biological-control organisms and depends on their method of deployment.
Inoculating the crop to prevent a pest problem that occurs only infrequently will result in unnecessary expenses in some or perhaps most years. In cases where the pest problem occurs frequently and predictably, routine inoculation with biological-control organisms may be economically feasible Carlson, ; Reichelderfer, In contrast, some augmentative or classical biological control can provide permanent population reduction below economic levels, i.
This is an advantage in many cases—classical biological control using organisms is preventative rather than therapeutic. Technical efficacy of an ecologically based management system refers to the ability of the system to prevent or reduce damage caused by pest populations. As the management system becomes more efficacious, it becomes more economically feasible, assuming there is no change in other factors such as the cost of.
Economic factors such as crop price and yield, costs of alternate management methods, and implementation costs determine the economic return a grower realizes from use of an alternative pest control system.
Crop price and yield determine the gross return a grower receives per hectare. As the gross return goes up, so does the value per unit of pest damage, which in turn increases the value of management systems that decrease the damage Carlson, ; Reichelderfer, Crops that produce large gross returns per hectare create strong incentives to invest in pest-management systems. Growers will, in general, be more willing to invest in alternative pest control systems when the value per hectare of the crop they are producing is large.
Ecologically based management systems that solve pest problems that cannot be solved with current systems will be immediately attractive to growers, particularly if the cost of current pest damage is high. New, ecologically based management strategies will compete for adoption and implementation with the systems currently used by growers.
In most cases, the current system is based on the use of broad-spectrum, conventional pesticides to kill pests. The costs of an alternative management system include the costs of 1 pesticide, biological-control organism, biological-control product, or other supplemental input, 2 capital investment of machinery, 3 machinery operation, 4 management time, and 5 labor Carlson, Some ecologically based methods are much cheaper than current systems.
Reichelderfer and Cate and Hinkle for example, noted the cost advantages of classical biological-control methods over pesticides. The benefits of permanent, successful pest management achieved with a one-time introduction of a biological-control organism will, over time, be more cost-effective than annual pesticide applications.
Costs of seasonal releases of a biological-control organism may be competitive with pesticidal alternatives Reichelderfer, Implementation costs are the costs imposed by switching to and learning a new management system.
These costs also include the time and money the grower must invest in physical and human capital to be able to use the new management system.
Switching to a new system may require training or the purchase of equipment and retirement of current equipment. Initially, more labor and presumably more management for an indefinite time period would be required to learn and integrate the management system into the farming system. Any effects of a new pest-management system on farm program eligibility, off-farm employment, or other factors affecting income are also included in implementation costs. The more similar the new management system is to the current system, the less likely new machinery will be needed, and the easier it will be to learn the new system—all resulting in low implementation costs.
Biological-control organisms formulated as seed treatments, for example, may be readily integrated into current agricultural practices and require no specialized equipment for implementation. Plant breeding for arthropod and disease resistance is an excellent example of an ecologically based approach that has been easily integrated into current production systems. Growers regularly substitute one resistant variety for another with very low implementation costs. Indeed, the ongoing development of new resistant varieties is the primary line of defense against important plant diseases such as wheat rusts that annually spread into the United States from Mexico.
The potential of ecologically based management systems may depend as much on how well they meet the economic criteria of those who use them, as on their direct effect on pest populations. Risk plays a large role in a grower's decision to adopt a new pest-management system. In the case of growers,.
Risk-averse growers are willing to pay a premium or insurance charge to reduce the risk of uncertainty they face Tisdell et al. In other words, growers are interested in minimizing the variability surrounding returns and yields as well as the absolute return or yield achieved Headly, There are tradeoffs between expected net returns and year-to-year variability of returns Kramer et al.
Even when required to meet reduction standards, risk-averse growers chose the more erosive systems to guarantee less net return variability; risk-neutral growers adopted more practices optimizing soil conservation.
Growers have been quick to adopt pesticides because of the certainty pesticides bring to production and profitability, and increased uncertainty about pest damage results in increased use of pesticides. Too much variability in net returns from year to year may induce a risk-averse grower to select a pest-management system that produces more certain results even if average returns are lower Headly, ; Tisdell et al.
Risk-averse growers with tight cash flows may decide to use a production system that brings a lower average return but has less income variability than a production system that is more variable but has a.
This also could speak to technology systems where the returns over the life of the investment are high but initial returns are low. Uncertainty about the efficacy of ecologically based management systems is a major source of concern for growers. Uncertainty surrounding the effectiveness and consistency of alternative pest-management systems has been a barrier to the adoption of IPM practices.
Risk-averse growers were more likely to rely on a conventional pesticide system Fernandez-Cornejo et al. Risk averse growers may be reluctant to forgo application of a pesticide while waiting for uncertain results from an ecologically based system. Risk also depends on the stability and supply of the biological-control organisms, biological-control products, or other supplemental inputs to ecologically based systems.
A steady supply of biological-control organisms or other inputs to the system or knowledge is essential to insure that growers can find what they need, when they need it.
Though supply shortages can also occur in conventional pest-management systems, uncertainty about the availability or use of an essential component of an ecologically based system increases the risk to the grower of using that system.
The interaction of economic feasibility and risk largely determines the likelihood that an ecologically based management system will be adopted or implemented by growers. Economic feasibility and risk can create both barriers to or opportunities for the implementation of ecologically based management systems.
A national initiative to develop and implement ecologically based systems should focus on those strategic opportunities where the economic feasibility and risk characteristics increase the likelihood of eventual adoption and implementation by growers.
Safety, profitability, and durability are not mutually exclusive, but the public interest in reducing risk to human and environmental health may outweigh private considerations of economic feasibility. Directing investments toward ecologically based systems that are economically feasible and less risky for growers will help ensure that the systems are profitable and at least economically durable.
Growers, however, cannot consider all the social and environmental costs of alternative management systems when they make their decisions. For instance, society needs to consider costs to monitor for potential development of resistance of EBPM solutions implemented in managed agricultural and forest ecosystems. The public at large also benefits from effective, long-term solutions to pest problems that minimize environmental and health risks. Strategic opportunities to encourage grower adoption and minimize the ecological and human health risks should also be explicitly identified as part of the planning for a national initiative to implement ecologically based management systems.
As a first step, an ecologically based management initiative should be directed to systems that initially. Ecologically based systems that meet one of these criteria are targets for investment of public resources; systems that meet several of these investment criteria are the most promising targets. Growers are likely to adopt EBPM systems that generate lower risks and higher profits. There is always perceived risk in embracing new technologies; the greater the divergence from previous practices, the greater the perceived risk.
The value of information is that it reduces the pest manager's uncertainty about pest control decision making Lawson, , thereby increasing the likelihood of acceptance of a new practice. The public at large has an opportunity to invest in new knowledge and tools that will help the grower successfully implement ecologically based pest-management systems.
The complexity of managed ecosystems indicates a need for more multidisciplinary information to develop and implement EBPM. All technological advances are driven by information flow; the importance of this for development and adoption of new pest-management technologies has been well documented e.
Conventional pest management itself requires a high level of information, some of which is not being effectively transferred from research to the field. Hoy stated that "… ineffective transfer of information from the developmental phase to the implementation phase seems to explain why new pest-management techniques are not implemented more frequently.
Therefore, we are faced with a dilemma; current IPM technology. Frost injury is a serious problem on agricultural plants, most of which cannot tolerate ice formation within their tissues. The oriented water molecules do not super cool but, instead, freeze at temperatures very close to freezing i. Injury at temperatures close to freezing i. Fire blight, an important disease of pear and apple, is caused by the bacterium Erwinia amylovora.
The pathogen can grow on shoots, leaves, or blossoms; enter the plant; and then can grow internally, sometimes killing the tree. At present, growers manage fire blight by spraying trees with the antibiotics streptomycin or Terramycin, which reduce the population size of E.
After even a single application of Blight-Ban, large populations of P. These populations compete with E. The severity of fire blight and frost injury is reduced because the population size of the causal organisms is reduced through competition with the beneficial bacterium. Although A has been as effective as streptomycin in suppression of fire blight in many field experiments, it can also be used in concert with conventional practices for management of fire blight.
It is naturally resistant to streptomycin and Terramycin, so can be combined with antibiotics in spray programs. The opportunity to integrate chemical and biological control is attractive to growers, who are more likely to adopt biological control initially if risks can be minimized by combining it with familiar and effective methods.
Integrated control and role of antibiosis in biological control of fire blight and frost injury. In Biological Control on the Phylloplane, C.
An intense and well-coordinated information, education, and training initiative is going to be essential to resolve this dilemma and move agriculture from conventional, chemically based pest control to EBPM. Putter and Van der Graaff identified four levels of decision makers in the pest-management process: Here we expand this list to the following six functional groups: The information each of these groups needs may be different, but facilitating the flow and use of information to and within each group is essential.
A breakdown in information flow to one of the six groups may seriously hamper the development and implementation of EBPM, as it has in the development of other technologies. Although the timely and unrestricted transfer of new information between all of these groups is critical, here we will emphasize only the importance of this process to the end users Figure The intricate and complicated structure of this graphic is intentional, meant to provide a visual presentation of the complexity of the pest-management information web.
The actual flow of information shown above indicates the difficulties in transferring information to end users. End users are those who make and carry out pest-management decisions.
They include growers, crop consultants, pest control advisors, corporate field representatives, nursery and greenhouse managers, landscape maintenance professionals, forest managers, stock handlers, stored product managers, pest control operators, gardeners, and others.
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