Farm Table says:
This publication by Cotton info – The Pests and Beneficials in Australian Cotton Landscapes guide – introduces the role that native vegetation can play in Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
It outlines some simple management principles that we can use to make areas of native vegetation more effective as habitats for beneficials. For instance, putting bat houses in some trees will encourage bats that consume a considerable amount of insect pests.
The guide also provides photos and information so that you can identify the pests and beneficials in the crop and the natural environment. Good IPM starts with being able to correctly identify what’s in your crop.
This new guide contains a considerable amount of new information about beneficial and pests which has significantly changed since the introduction of Bt cotton crops. It also incorporates outcomes from biodiversity research which can be used as a framework for improving native vegetation landscapes as alternate habitat for beneficials.
This framework is located in the middle of the guide and is based on 6 management principles;
- think beyond the crop
- encourage beneficials with diverse, messy vegetation
- do not disturb, conserve your beneficials
- consider birds and bats as beneficials
- control weeds in and around the farm
- consider water availability
In conclusion, this publication is not only an important tool for consultants and growers but supports
researchers, extension staff, students and anyone new to the Australian cotton industry.