Principles of Ecologically Based Pest Management

A whole farm approach calls for designing a system that integrates ecological pest management into other aspects of crop and soil management. Each decision you make in designing your system for managing pests should be based in part on the impacts on the rest of the system.

Your steps toward implementing ecological pest management should be linked with soil organic matter management, soil nutrient management, tillage, and other efforts to reduce erosion and compaction. Creating field boundaries, borders and buffers designed to protect waterways also can lead to positive impacts on pest populations.

The following sections outline management strategies designed to augment the good bugs that will help ward off pests. You will learn ways to select plants that attract and feed beneficial insects, manage habitat to discourage pests, exploit plant breeding and natural plant defenses in your system, and maintain and improve soil diversity to benefit plant health.

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