Recently, the active ingredient, glyphosate – found in the Monsanto product, Round-up – was found to cause cancer in a courtroom in the U.S. The company has covered up that fact for years and told the public that the product was safe. Glyphosate or Round-up has been used by Big Ag for years. So much so that they even began genetically modifying plants, AKA “the food you eat,” to be able to withstand that chemical so that they can spray it all over the field and not worry about killing the main crop they are cultivating. The only problem is that the chemical moves through the air and waterways into places it shouldn’t be. If you tested most Americans urine you would find glyphosate. In my opinion, the only way to change the misuse of dangerous chemicals like glyphosate is through education. That’s why this month I’m talking about Integrated Pest Management.
What is integrated pest management?
IPM is an ecosystem-based strategy that focuses on long-term prevention of pests through a combination of techniques such as biological control, habitat manipulation, modification of cultural practices, and use of resistant varieties. Pesticides are used only after monitoring practices indicate that they are needed, and treatments are made with the goal of removing only the target organism. Pest control materials are selected and applied in a manner that minimizes risks to human health, beneficial organisms, and the environment.
Integrated pest management approaches
Preventive maintenance is very important in your IPM regime. You should be constantly checking your sticky traps, field, building, or other cultivation sites to identify which pests are present, how many there are, or what damage they’ve caused. You should invest in a Dino-lite digital microscope so you can scout bugs and take quality pictures to better identify the pest. Correctly identifying the pest is key to knowing whether a pest is likely to become a problem and determining the best management strategy. Once you have a problem, most of the time, it’s too late. IPM should be started from day one and never stopped. Approaches for managing pests are often grouped in the following categories.
Biological control is the use of natural enemies—predators, parasites, pathogens, and competitors—to control pests and their damage.
Cultural controls are practices that reduce pest establishment, reproduction, dispersal, and survival. For example, changing irrigation practices can reduce pest problems, since too much water can increase root disease and weeds.
Mechanical and physical controls
Mechanical and physical controls kill a pest directly, block pests out, or make the environment unsuitable for it. Traps for rodents are examples of mechanical control. Physical controls include mulches for weed management, steam sterilization of the soil for disease management, or barriers such as screens to keep birds or insects out.
Chemical control is the use of pesticides. This is the last resort and should only be applied when all else fails. In IPM, pesticides are used only when needed and in combination with other approaches for more effective, long-term control. Pesticides are selected and applied in a way that minimizes their possible harm to people, non-target organisms, and the environment. With IPM you’ll use the most selective pesticide that will do the job and be the safest for other organisms and for air, soil, and water quality.
Biocontrols and where to buy bugs
One thing to always remember in the cannabis industry is everyone thinks you have huge profit margins so they try to rip you off. I guarantee vegetable farmers don’t pay the same thing you do. Be careful of middlemen with products marketed directly at the cannabis industry. Go start to the source. Here is a list of a few good biocontrol websites:
Beneficial Insectary- https://www.insectary.com/
Bioline Agrosciences- https://www.biolineagrosciences.com/
IPM Laboratories- www.ipmlabs.com
Common pest on cannabis and their predator:
Spider Mites – Amblyseius andersoni, Amblyseius californicus, Neoseiulus fallacis
Thrips – Amblyseius cucumeris, Orius insidiosus, Stratiolaelaps scimitus
Fungus Gnats – Dalotia coriaria, nematodes
Aphids – Aphidius ervi, lady bugs
Whiteflies- Encarsia Formosa, Eretmocerus eremicus
Nutrient dense and pesticide free food is the future. Chemical fertilizers and pesticides were made with the idea to make work easier. The microwave generation took to those ideas without fully understanding the negative outcomes these chemicals have, not only on our bodies but also our environment. When organics is done right we don’t need any of these dangerous chemicals. Stop giving these chemical companies your money and start looking at the damage they are causing. Did you know there is a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico from the chemical runoff from the corn and soybean farms in Iowa and Illinois? The chemicals travel all the way down the Mississippi river and into the ocean. They say we can’t feed the world with organics. I say stop trying to feed the world and put an organic garden in your backyard to feed yourself.Home ››› Grow ›››