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What is Integrated Pest Management (IPM)?

What is Integrated Pest Management (IPM)?

Integrated Pest Management is taking a whole farm approach to managing the land, maximising the efficiency of production whilst minimising negative effects on the environment.  Reduced reliance on pesticides can be achieved by minimising pest, weed and disease risks through:

  • Tailored and efficient use of chemical inputs such as fertilisers and pesticides.

  • Appropriate cultural controls such as crop rotations and the use of resistant varieties.

  • Physical and mechanical controls including the use of nets, mulches and mechanical weeding.

  • Enhancement of wildlife habitats to encourage biodiversity and beneficial organisms that provide biological control.

  • Monitoring of crops for pests, weeds and diseases and the use of forecasts and thresholds for treatment.




What are the benefits of IPM?

The application of IPM principles can have numerous benefits:

  • Allows producers to make informed decisions on crop management and minimise reliance on pesticides.

  • Reduces the risk of pesticide resistance.

  • Reduces the risks to human health and the environment through exposure to pesticides.

  • Reduces the potential for contamination of water sources by chemical inputs.

  • Helps to maintain biodiversity.

  • Helps to support quality assurance scheme certification.


IPM Plan

There is an expectation under pesticide legislation that professional users will adopt an integrated approach to control pests, weeds and diseases.  Documented use of IPM can help to demonstrate that you are complying with legal requirements to take ‘reasonable precautions’ to protect human health and the environment when using or permitting the use of pesticides.  Completing an IPM plan will help the professional user to identify and demonstrate the use of IPM techniques.  Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) has adapted the National Farmers’ Union’s Integrated Pest Management Plan, promoted by the Voluntary Initiative.  We recommend that farmers in Scotland complete a Scottish IPM plan.