Thursday 17 October 2019

PJ Phelan

Farmers must protect what they have.

We must reduce resistance risk to maximise crop yield potential 

The most recent series of cross compliance checks have focused farmers' minds on paperwork. This time round they have a very thought provoking sheet to fill in on Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The questions asked are simple but highlight the vast range of tools that we use, or misuse, in order to control crop pests. The reaction of most farmers when asked about pest control is to list insecticide usage and, with a little more thought, seed dressings, herbicides and fungicides. However pest control in the not so distant past was solely by non-chemical means such as...

Pesticide must be registered for use on specific crops. Photo: Getty Images.

Tillage: Integrate pesticides with other controls 

Most crops have now received their final fungicides. While we continue to monitor crops, the economics of further pesticide applications is questionable in all bar some spring crops. Weed control has been very effective in most crops but the incidence of herbicide resistance is increasing. Resistance of chickweed to sulfonylureas and CMPP has been a problem in the midlands for several years, so that we have been relying largely on products containing flouxypyr for control.