LEAF launches farmer guide to Integrated Pest Management

LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming), one of the leading organisations promoting more sustainable farming, has today launched a new technical guide to support farmers in more ecosystems-based approaches to crop health and protection.  

 ‘Simply Sustainable Integrated Pest Management’ which has been developed with support from the Crop Protection Association (CPA), together with others in the industry, was launched today at the Cereals LIVE 2020 Event.  It outlines Eight Simple Steps to help farmers achieve more sustainable crop health, through the range of measures that are key to a fully Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy. These include; biological control, rotations, selection of pest resistant crop varieties, habitat manipulation, modification of cultural practices, reduced pesticide use and ensuring that where pesticides are used, it is economically and ecologically justified.  

It is the fifth in LEAF’s ‘Simply Sustainable’ series of technical guidance booklets designed to support farmers in delivering more sustainable farming through Integrated Farm Management (IFM).  Others in the series cover soil, water, biodiversity and biosecurity. 

Commenting on its publication, LEAF chief executive, Caroline Drummond said:  “For some 30 years LEAF has been at the forefront of developing and promoting Integrated Farm Management to deliver more sustainable farming.  IPM is a cornerstone of an IFM approach, offering a toolbox of techniques to help farmers plan their approach to robust, resilient, and healthy crops.“Against a backdrop of uncertainty within agriculture, methods of pest management

and control that utilise a range of different plant health and protection methods are needed in order to achieve healthy crops with the least possible disruption to agricultural ecosystems.

 “Our guidance booklet supports farmers in their decision making in practical ways to help improve crop protection, productivity and the long-term sustainability of their land and help protect our precious natural resources.”

Dave Bench, chief executive of the Crop Protection Association added:  The global challenges of population growth, food security and climate change continue to put pressure on farmers to ensure their crops are healthy, productive, safe and resilient.  Delivering more sustainable farming requires a combination of skilled practitioners, novel approaches, and innovative technology – all working together to achieve a fully integrated farming approach. 

“We are delighted to support this latest guidance booklet in LEAF’s ‘Simply Sustainable’ series.   It provides an essential guide offering practical tips and approaches for farmers to adopt as they look for better and more sustainable ways to protect their crops through Integrated Pest Management strategies.”   

 ‘Simply Sustainable Integrated Pest Management’ and other booklets in the Simply Sustainable series are freely available and can be download from www.leafuk.org/farming/simply-sustainable-series where further  information about LEAF and Integrated Farm Management can also be found.

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About The Author

John Swire - Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.