New IPM Model Takes Systems Approach to Addressing Modern Issues

Brian German Industry, Pest Update

A new integrated pest management (IPM) philosophy developed by UC Cooperative Extension Entomology and Biologics Advisor Surendra Dara expands on traditional methods to better adapt to modern issues.  The new IPM model embraces a systems approach to addressing pest management techniques.

“The new model actually encompasses everything that is there that influences integrated pest management. We do give the title of IPM, but it is actually kind of a crop production system,” said UC Cooperative Extension Entomology and Biologics Advisor Surendra Dara.  “Because it involves everything; agronomic practices, irrigation, nutrition and everything there.”

Understanding that IPM strategies cannot be applied equally in all circumstances, Dara presents a new paradigm of IPM that provides guidance on appropriate actions for certain situations.  The new model takes into account environmental and social factors, as well as scientific and business factors, that come into play when strategizing plans for crop production.  “When you’re talking about pest control or pest management it is only a part of the big picture,” noted Dara. “This is about economics, society, environment, pest management, crop production, everything involved.”

Dara’s new IPM model was recently published in the Journal of Integrated Pest Management and was also highlighted during a presentation at the annual UC Strawberry Field Day in Santa Maria.  The development of a more holistic IPM approach corresponds with the changing issues facing agricultural production.  “As the population is increasing and the globalization of pest and disease distribution is also prevalent, we are dealing with a lot of issues,” said Dara.  “So, looking at the big picture of sustainable food production, we need a new system.  That’s the whole idea behind developing this new model.”

Through the initial development of the IPM model, Dara received positive feedback from industry members supporting the new approach.  The goal is to educate a broader audience on what the new methodology may be able to provide.  “It is not just educating the key players, but we need to educate the public too.  That’s also an important part of this,” Dara noted.

Listen to Dara’s interview below.

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West