We have to face the reality that bugs can wreak havoc on agricultural production. Keeping pests from devouring the crops before they can be harvested is a challenge for farmers all over the world.
Sometimes to preserve the crop it is necessary to use chemical methods to rid the fields of pests. However, there are some preventive steps to keep unwanted insects from destroying crops. Each of these methods focuses on disrupting the life cycle of the pest.
Healthy crops will develop a natural resilience to pest invasions. Damaged or stressed agricultural crops are highly susceptible to insect invasions. While weather-related catastrophes are out of a farmer's control, proper fertilization and soil maintenance help crops to endure adverse conditions. It is recommended that all damaged portions of a field be completely removed to avoid the chance of an insect invasion destroying the entire crop.
Some farmers believe that crop rotation is only beneficial to the soil. However, changing the type of crop annually is an excellent way to reduce, or even eliminate pest problems. One type of plant may be inherently susceptible to a certain type of pest, while another is not. When the source of nourishment is removed, the insect cannot survive.
Another way to disrupt the life cycle of problem pests is by mixing certain crops in the same field. Some crops, called trap crops, will actually attract a pest away. While intercropping might seem like a waste of valuable field space, the ultimate gain is usually worth the area planted with a secondary crop.
Referred to as biological control, there are organisms and other insects that can be filtered into crop fields that will hinder and eventually destroy the ones responsible for crop destruction. Agricultural experts have researched a number of organisms that are natural enemies to many of the most damaging crop invaders.
Often simple crop rotation is enough to totally eradicate a problem pest from your fields. If a problem continues, even after rotating the type of crop, there are synthetic types of insect hormones, which reduce the need for chemical pesticides. A sterile male insect of a problem species is intentionally released into the field. They compete with the naturally present fertile male insects, reducing the number of offspring.
Sometimes harsh climates and unexpected insect invasions are out of a farmer's control. During these periods, the use of pesticides may be the only alternative to saving a crop. However, these four steps can be used as preventative measures to avoid the need for pesticides at all.
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12 May 2017
Hi there, my name is Jerry. Welcome to my site about agricultural tools and practices. The time and effort you put into maintaining your farmland all comes to fruition during harvest season. In the beginning stages, it can be difficult to see how the tiny sprouts will amount to the yield you hope to harvest. Eventually, your vision comes into clear view as the plants grow to full size and begin to produce. I will use this site to help you develop good farming practices for every stage of the growing process. I will also share important information about the tools you will need to use on your farmland. Thanks for visiting.