Integrated pest management programmes make sense

Society is constantly looking for ways to improve. This is also true in the agricultural sector. Contrary to widespread belief created by suspense movie dramas, industry, science, and farmers are constantly taking hands in the quest to improve agricultural practises and in finding reduced, better and safer use of available methods designed to control insects, weeds, and diseases.

The introduction of the first highly effective synthetic insecticides made major strides in agriculture in the 1950s. It enabled farmers to realise better quality products with higher yields. Routine preventative spraying quickly became the norm in pest control. But over time the constant and sometimes, overuse of insecticides and herbicides showed that they were not the ultimate solution.

The development of routine, preventative spray programmes to control pests, whether they were present in damaging numbers or not, did not always eliminate the pest problem. In fact, in some instances, these programmes created other, sometimes, more serious problems such as the development of pesticide resistance.

Pesticide resistance occurs when the pest population shows a decreased susceptibility to a certain pesticide that was previously effective in controlling the pest. Cases of resistance have been reported globally in all classes of pests – insects, weeds, rodents, and diseases.

This necessitated the establishment of the Insecticide Resistance Action Committee (IRAC) in 1984. IRAC is a specialist technical group of the industry association CropLife and provides a coordinated industry response to prevent or delay the development of insecticide resistance in pests. IRAC strives to facilitate communication and education on insecticide and traits resistance as well as to promote the development and facilitate the implementation of insecticide resistance management strategies.

IRAC is recognised by the United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) as well as the World Health Organisation (WHO) of the United Nations as an advisory body on matters pertaining to insecticide resistance.

Insect resistance, as with the development of resistance in any other organism, is about the changes that occur in the genetics of the target insect population. It is the heritable change in the sensitivity of a pest population to a product where the product fails to achieve the expected level of control when used according to the label recommendation for that pest species. <strong>The full article is for subscribed members only. To view the full article please subscribe. It’s FREE!</strong><a href=””>Log In</a> <a href=””>Register</a>


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