Save Money On Chemicals
Farmer's Weekly|September 13, 2019
Save Money On Chemicals
Farmers often ask for pest control programmes for their crops. They see them as a form of insurance.

Is this justified? In a word, no! When the tomato leaf miner arrived a few years ago, I contacted an agricultural department entomologist to enquire whether there were any parasitoids or other natural enemies in South Africa that could bring it under control, in the same way as certain parasitoids controlled the other leaf miners (Liriomyza spp).

He was surprised to hear about the success of these parasitoids, and asked if I had clients who farmed potatoes, as he constantly received queries from potato farmers about how to control their infestations. I replied that I did, and these farmers had not seen a single leaf miner on their crops for years.

I added that most farmers were encouraged to use spray programmes and, usually, at least one product in the programme would kill off the beneficial insects. Moreover, repeat applications were required, which meant that many pests rapidly built up resistance.

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September 13, 2019