Biological Alternatives

An important element of a robust IPM strategy is making optimal use of biological alternatives (BA). Biological alternatives are options that can be used to replace chemicals in crop production and protection. Chemical pesticides disrupt ecosystems and cause more pest problems as well as bring negative impacts on human health and the environment. On the other hand, biological alternatives build on existing natural control and are safer for humans and the environment. However, farmers will need to be able to understand the interactions of components of the ecosystem as to be able to manipulate them and use biological alternatives to address crop production and protection problems. For example, the strategies for using biological alternatives will depend on whether it is fast or slow acting. For example, slow acting alternatives will need to be used for early intervention as to maintain pest populations at low levels.

 

Biological alternatives must be aligned and harmonized with other IPM strategies to be applied. Understanding the concept and principles of IPM (for example, the interactions between different components of the ecosystem to address pest problems and reduce crop damage) as well as how BA is to be utilized within a particular IPM system is crucial.

 

Biological alternatives may be:

Biological Control
Biopesticides
Botanicals
Semiochemicals
Transgenic crops

More information on Biological Alternatives can be found at:

https://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/biological-control 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biological_pest_control