Defining Integrated Pest Management for Irish Horticulture
An Introduction to IPM
Pests (any organism, weed or disease which may cause harm) pose a significant threat to the productivity and quality of horticultural crops. IPM is a holistic approach used to manage pests: it considers the whole crop system and is based on a broad range of agronomic, monitoring, physical and biological techniques. Targeted chemical control is an option when other approaches are unsuccessful or when a pest issue has surpassed an acceptable threshold. Within organic systems, targeted intervention is permitted with substances authorised for use under the organic regulations.
Reliance on any one crop protection method can lead to pest evolution and resistance, resulting in the eventual failure of that method. IPM therefore offers the grower a toolbox of pest control options from which to select the most suitable tactic for any given situation.