Module 5. IPM Scaling and Implementation
Lesson 5.1: Role of the farmer
The wheat farmer will adopt IPM as long as the technologies are applicable and do not increase the production costs. The farmer must understand the new recommendations or will not use them. What is IPM? What is it good for? What is his financial situation? With what resources are available? What equipment? How available is the labor force in the region? But the farmer cannot figure it all out and requires the services of a consultant or an extension service technician who listens and advise him in practical solutions, who has time to accompany him, to take samples, to prepare maps and know his crop.
Moreover, the researcher must generate horizontal technologies that are useful and easy to apply, with analysis and contributions to the value chain. Ideally, the research results should be the product of trials conducted in the same area where farmers are located, since IPM is geographically sensitive. It takes some researchers to leave the comfort of the laboratories and offices, and go to the field with love and desire to serve, to create, to solve problems and their reward in professional and economic satisfaction to fund their projects will be huge.
For the successful implementation of a Wheat IPM program and the correct selection of best management practices, the farmer, the consultant and the researcher must participate in all the steps, but the farmer must 1. Identification of the pest and learn about its biology 2. Diagnosis and Monitoring. 3. Systematic inspection. 4. Preventive measures. 5. Control measures. 6. Training and 7. Assessment or verification.
Diagnosis and monitoring/Records
Diagnosis and monitoring is a very useful tool in IPM to record the presence, abundance and behavior of the pest in time. The farmer learns in real time how the crop is, whether or not it has pests or if its production is at risk. It is important to do it systematically, filling out forms that were prepared beforehand and that are easy follow, where control activities and verification of their results are recorded. The recording must be made by previously trained personnel that do a correct identification and are familiar with the main problems to manage a wheat crop. From the effort that is given to this activity depend the management activities that must be carried.
In many crops there are trained personnel known as “scouts” to make these readings even when the farmer and the consultant must perform them, the more trained eyes, the better. The “scout” goes hand in hand with monitoring and recording and over time becomes familiar with the foci or “hot spots” that will be very useful when adopting the solutions.
Clearly the ongoing review of the wheat crop which is made by the “scouts” is not the only source of information. One must resort to traps which in the case of insects catch mostly adults that appear before the larvae, temperature and humidity, climatic factors that determine the life cycles and birth and mortality rates, indicator plants that give us an anticipated view of what we will see in the field if related to host susceptibility, predictive models of diseases that unfortunately are based on complex mathematical calculations to estimate the severity and timing of occurrence of the pathogenic events, tissue and water analysis as possible contaminants, consulting networks with professionals and farmers related to wheat, computers with access to information from government phytosanitary research and development agencies and with access to weather stations.
Maintenance, cleanliness and hygiene
The farmer should ensure that the cleaning and maintenance activities of the plantation are done and he must select viable lower cost measures than the losses incurred by not executing them. Never perform them in excess because he will end up discouraged, as for example with the excessive use of labor for manual weeding or controlling some pest or disease. The factors that help make an informed decision are to know the crop phenology, the pest behavior and its biology and to understand its dynamics. Physical, chemical and biological operations may be advanced. Studying the environmental conditions, the food, shelter, dispersal mechanisms, preventive measures to minimize the pest, promote crop rotations, elimination of ratoons, weed conservation, residue disposal, timely harvests, soil preparation, timely fertilization, container collection, agronomic practices that minimize presence of the pest.
Some farmers tend to abuse certain organic practices that run counter to cleanliness and hygiene, and have not been previously investigated. It is common for some farmers to be persuaded to apply unregistered products such as pesticides or fertilizers that were not evaluated for that pest and in that crop, or products of organic origin which by their nature are thought to be safe, such as: toxic plants, mineral oils, blood, milk or fresh poultry or pig droppings, that can be phyto-toxic to the crop and of high risk to human health.
Lesson 5.2: Role of the consultant
The consultant should be someone who works very much in coordination with the research centers and researchers; continuously attends the meetings with researchers and stays up to date with new technologies. In the implementation of IPM it is an active participant but has very specific tasks such as pest identification, applications of chemical and biological products and the verification of the results.
There are numerous consultant service providers in every country. NAICC is one of them and is located in USA. National Alliance of Independent Crop Consultants
Causal agent identification
The identification of the pest and its causative agent is essential in implementing IPM, misdiagnoses are common mainly with new or rare pests and diseases in crops; they cause farmers unnecessary costs and time waste. Fortunately the wheat crop has a clear identification of the major diseases, pests, weeds and abiotic damages affecting it. Additionally, global information systems exist on the Internet for identifying pests and diseases.
At the same time it is important to learn about the biology of the pest. A good diagnosis gives us access to a wealth of important information to implement IPM such as: habits, biology, dispersal, spread, risk sectors, location, feeding habits, niches, interaction with the host or the weather. Identify and point out possible sites of entry, shelter, proliferation, neighboring crops and facilities, water sources, dates and cultural practices records. Placing them into a map helps guide the management, establish barriers and even locate traps.
Application of chemical or biological products.
This decision is the responsibility of qualified and skilled professionals for these purposes, who define what product to use, the dose, time, equipment and precautions that should be taken, as clearly stated on the label, under the recommendation of an agronomist. Who to the extent possible has a list of products with the same or different active ingredient, registered for that use; that reviews the personal protection equipment, and that is authorized by the health and the environment entities. Meeting all the requirements printed on the safety data sheet for each product that is provided by the responsible manufacturer, making proper handling and disposal of the containers.
Verification of results
Verification aims to obtain the information necessary to maintain a continuous improvement in the implementation of IPM and greatly enhances the information to incorporate new activities.
To achieve the verification of IPM, staff dedicated to this task must analyze and make a preliminary diagnosis that consists of an initial recognition of the farm and its surroundings or the region. Walk and make a representative sampling of the area, talk with the farmers and understand the behavior of the pest in past seasons in order to detect possible deviations that may adversely affect yields by its presence.
Continuous monitoring of the entire plantation must be kept, take stock of available resources, dialogue with the community, check routines and cleaning schedules, dialogue with those responsible for the technical services and to the extent possible, that each property has its own IPM plan where all scheduled tasks are specified. Keep records of routine tasks, products, equipment, safety and protection equipment, safety data sheets, forms, monitoring, results, training and awareness activities of all actors involved and coordinated work with suppliers and distributors. The success is based on education, prevention, and on the incorporation of a culture of continuous improvement in each process. Safety Standards.
Lesson 5.3: Access to IPM resources
For the implementation and acceptance by the farmers of IPM as a tool to improve agricultural sustainability, it has had to overcome political, social and economic pressures arising as a result of an educational process that takes place not only in the formality of school and university classrooms, but on television, radio, newspapers, magazines and of course on the internet, as is the purpose of this manual.
And all these activities require resources to implement IPM. For State Research Centers to support projects where research is done on issues related to IPM and to support programs for technology transfer. For the farmer to have access to suitable and good quality chemical and biological inputs, and not assume that IPM as a purely technical program, but an economic program that seeks the profitability of their crops. It may be that too much emphasis has been placed on the biological or chemical sides and other similarly effective and less costly processes are neglected.
The farmer needs to enter into an educational process with official or private support. It is no longer necessary that the worker knows how to read or go to school to learn about human or plant health, or about improvements in agricultural and industrial production. In his own home he can see and hear on television or radio or the Internet the consequences of failing to prevent in time the attack of a pest, or the new farming techniques of the most developed countries. On the internet which today has reached many remote corners, in the network there is access to a sea of information.
Farmers and their families have achieved an economic and business sense much clearer than their parents did, with the communications revolution. Many of them already understand the consequences of inflation, devaluation, cost of money, the value of capital, return on investment, value of knowledge, globalization of markets and many terms related to macro and microeconomics. Then, these farmers are more inclined to the adoption of IPM for the benefit of farmers and all bodies concerned with the agricultural sector.
Other resources on wheat for the users are:
Wheat_Atlas Wheat Atlas is an online portal to information on wheat production, markets and research, with particular focus on the developing countries.
Wheat Doctor Wheat Doctor provides a simple, stepwise method for identifying wheat production problems, diseases and pests.
Seeds of discovery A number of studies and publications on different varieties of seeds by CYMMIT and SAGARPA-Mexico.
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