Sustainable Practices & IPM
Bioforce is a proponent of the sustainable management of crops, advocating for a reduction in the use of chemical inputs for the production of high quality food and ornamental crops.
The eradication of horticultural pests from your crop is impractical and generally unachievable. Even with the use of highly effective chemical pesticides, the pests are usually able to re-invade the crop once the chemical residues have worn off. To maintain pests at low levels, growers are usually forced to make repeat applications of pesticides, and must alternate chemicals to prevent the development of resistance within the pest population; least the chemical becomes totally useless.
Biological control does not aim to eradicate pests; rather it aims to maintain pest populations at levels low enough that any damage caused is insufficient to warrant chemical intervention. Effective biological control requires the use of beneficial organisms that are able to reach an ecological balance with the pest population at levels below economic thresholds. In greenhouses it is often possible to maintain environmental conditions that are favourable to the beneficial organisms, enhancing their ability to control pests. The migration of pests from outside of the greenhouse may at times require repeat releases of beneficial organisms to combat the variable pest population dynamics, and on-going monitoring of pest and beneficial populations is of vital importance.