A question/answer discussion session was conducted at the conclusion of the workshop “Pest Management During Transition to Organic Farming Systems”. The following categories were used to summarize the discussion: 1) questions and answers related to cultural and biological practices and their effects under various climatic conditions, 2) recommendations for pest management, and 3) future research needs. While many tactics are available, selecting and adopting the most suitable approach depends on soil conditions of the land, location, and the availability of the resources at affordable prices. Definitely, more research studies are needed on 1) weed seed banks under various cultural practices at different regions, 2) relationships between soil nutrients, and pest control, and 3) approaches to increase profitability of organic production during the transition period.
As an agroecosystem makes the transition from conventional to organic practices, changes in the pest management tactics used are often apparent. Despite varying degrees of efficacy among tactics, the issue of whether or not numbers of insect and nematode pests and their damage will become more severe in an organic system depends on the specifics of the pests and crops involved. Although many conventional systems rely on reactive strategies to deal with pest problems, an alternative approach is to redesign systems so that plant health is maximized, regardless of pest numbers, although this approach takes planning and time. An abrupt transition from conventional to organic may be risky if pest numbers are high and alternative practices are not yet in place. Hybrid systems, involving decreasing levels of conventional tactics and increasing levels of organic tactics, may be needed before the transitional period begins, in order to bridge the gap and lessen the impact of crop losses during the transitional period. The design of cropping systems with minimal pest impact requires a much more extensive and specific knowledge base than needed for reactive strategies.
and the reason for BMP selection. The most frequently used BMPs included 1) irrigation methodology and scheduling to optimize irrigation efficiency, 2) implementing integrated pest management tactics, and 3) use of controlled-release fertilizers. The
Liming Chen, Heping Zhu, Leona Horst, Matthew Wallhead, Michael Reding, and Amy Fulcher
In commercial fruit farms and ornamental tree nurseries, producers generally use integrated pest management tactics, including pesticide treatments, to control a variety of insect and plant disease pests ( Beckerman, 2018 ; Braman et al., 2015