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Crop Health [SS.FC.CH]

    Integrated Pest Management – Top Tips from High Scoring Farms

    The IPM planning tool for Scottish growers is starting to give useful insights about what high scoring farms do and where they get their information. Filing in an Integrated Pest Management plan is now standard practice on most arable farms and is a useful tool to explore what can be done on individual farms to increase IPM practices. IPM plans are also being picked up across mixed and grassland farms too. Almost 5000 arable plans have been completed to date for arable farms and nearly 300 for grassland plans  – just launched at the end for 2021.  Average scores for arable farms are 64.8% and for grassland farms 56.9%.  This provides really positive evidence about what the farming industry is already doing to produce crops in integrated and sustainable ways.

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    The Role of Biostimulants in IPM

    The overriding principle of IPM is to manage the health of a crop holistically, rather than just to focus on individual pests and disease and then deal with them with single tools in isolation. We are used to the concept that we might try and combine interventions like rotation, tillage, varietal resistance with targeted pesticides to reduce pest and disease pressure, but the concept of trying to work with and stimulate the plants own natural processes using biostimulants is newer and less well understood.

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    How Do You Measure IPM?

    The whole point of integrated pest management (IPM) is to work holistically with your farm system to manage the pest, weeds and diseases unique to your fields, using the tools and strategies that best maximise profit whilst minimising environmental footprint.

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