Germination Percentage for Seed Certification
Permissible Moisture level for seeds
isolation requirements for seed production
cleaning and storage
of pesticides and containers
Pest Management (IPM)
is a fertile and ripened ovule, which contains an embryonic plant,
supplied with food storage tissues and surrounded by a seed coat.
A seed strictly speaking is an 'embryo' a living organism embedded
in the supporting or the food storage tissue. According to the Seed
Act 1966, seed includes all planting materials such as seedlings,
tubers, bulbs, grafts, etc.
Technology - involves
seed production, processing, storage testing and certification,
marketing and distribution and the related research on these aspects.
Seed production includes varietals development, evaluation and release
of Seed Technology -
improved seed - a carrier of new technologies a basic tool for secured
food supply- the principal means to secure crop yields in less favorable
areas of productivity - a medium for rapid rehabilitation of agriculture
in areas of natural disaster - a 'national seed reserve stock' of
seed is necessary to face such situations. Seed is the fundamental
unit of crop production - Regarded as the most vital, basic and
critical input in agriculture for increasing and sustaining agricultural
production. The year in which the Royal Commission on Agriculture
was constituted -1925. It emphasized the need for a separate organization
in India to deal with seed distribution. This paved the way for
the set up of the National Seed Corporation (NSC) in 1963. Coverage
of high yielding varieties in Kerala -60.32% (1999-2000). Maximum
coverage during Punja followed by Viruppu and Mundakan. The poor
coverage is the non-availability of quality seeds of the High Yielding
Varieties (HYV). In India seed production and distribution have
become a well developed industry - involving an annual turn over
of Rs.2200 crores - Public sector -Rs.55 crores (25%) - Private
sector Rs.1320 crores (60%) - other unorganised sector Rs.330 crores
(15%) India is exporting seeds worth of Rs.20 crores in an year.
- To increase agricultural production through the spread of good
quality seeds of HYVs. It aims at (1) rapid multiplication, (2)
timely supply, (3) assuming high quality, (4) reasonable price.
of a Seed Programme
- (1) high level support, (2) productive plant breeding programme,
(3) Co-ordinated effort.
of development of Seed Technology
Five Year Plan (1951-56) - Distribution of improved seeds of
food grains came into existence - seed distribution with subsidy.
Five Year Plan (1956-61) - Improved seed was made as a basis
for 10% additional food grain production - Production of foundation
seeds - started seed production centers and seed stores.
Five Year Plan (1961-66) - Released first four hybrids of maize
in 1961 - necessitated a separate organization for seed production.
Thus gave birth to NSC in 1963.
was started during 1966 and there was high coverage of HYV seeds
for food crops by 1968-69. The HYV Programme had an almost explosive
effect on the seed industries and necessitated huge effort in seed
production, processing, certification, testing and storage, seed
Plans (1966-69) - Seed Review Team - Constituted by Government of
India in 1968- suggested to entrust the work related to production,
processing and marketing of seed co-operative and private sectors
- also NSC should assist State Government to constitute their own
certification agencies. IV plan (1969-74) - In 1969 - Tara Development
Corporation Ltd was started with the active involvement of GB Pan1
University of agriculture and technology - Growers participation
as shareholders instead of contract system of seed production.
Act 1966 came into force through out India from 1969
V Five Year Plan (1974-79) - Reviewed by National Commission on
Agriculture - Many recommendations were made in 1976 - (1) Rigorous
enforcement of Seed Act 1966; (2) National Registry of varieties
- system by ICAR; (3) Departments of Agriculture - in the center
and state should have three distinct wings each dealing respectively
with (a) input aspect, (b) land enforcement (c) certification; (4)
Grow-out tests should be made on integral parts of seed testing.
concept of seed multiplication
SEED - initial seed-small quantity from the originating plant
breeder - for further multiplication to maintain the variety - multiplication
by the supervision of the plant breeder or any other qualified plant
breeder - genetic purity - 100%.
SEED - progeny of nucleus seed multiplied by the breeder or
by the institution - source for the foundation seed - genetic purity
is 100%. Not subjected to certification. But monitoring by a team
of exports - Golden Yellow colour tag.
SEED (FS) - Progeny of Breeder seed production is supervised
by certification agency. Minimum genetic purity 99%-white tag. Can
be II stages. FS Stage FS Stage II and I. Stage II is only if Breeder
Seed I in short supply. NSC, SDA and State Seed Corporation are
involved in the production.
SEED (CS) - Produced from FS, Seed Certification Agency certifies
- supervising by seed certification agency, State Seed Corporation
and NSC - subjected to one or more stage of production genuine shortage
of FS. Such production does not exceed three generations beyond
FS.1 Minimum genetic purity 98% - Tag colour Azure Blue. To maintaining
genetic purity, Cs should be replaced every 4th season or 4th crop.
To maintain and make available high quality seeds with genetic identify
and purity - designed to achieve prescribed standards - legally
sanctioned system for quality control during all stages of seed
production. In India seed certification is a voluntary process -
but labeling is compulsory.
NSC evolved the certification standards. The central seed committee
approved these standards - the standards are includes in the Indian
minimum seed certification standards published by Government to
establish their own seed certification agencies. A statutory central
seed certification Board co-ordinated the activities of State seed
certification agencies. (Only those varieties, which are notified
by central seed committee, are eligible for certification).
of seed source
and approval of seed fields prior to planting
of seed crop in field to verify its conformity to the prescribed
of harvest and post harvest operations including processing and
and analysis of seeds to conform seed standards.
of certificate tags, lebelling and sealing.
crop seeds (maximum)
weed seed (maximum)
Indian minimum seed certification standards 1971 - Central Seed
Labeled Seeds (TLS)
Seeds of the varieties, which are not eligible for certification
can be, produced as truthfully labeled seeds. The seeds should be
labeled as follows:
(1) Kind, (2) variety, (3) Lot No, (4) Date of test, (5) Inert matter
% (6) pure seed %, (7) Other crop seed %, (8)weed seed %, (9) Germination
%, (10) net content, (11) sellers name and address, (12) if treated,
any one of the following statements should appear in the label:
not use for food, feed or oil purpose (or Poison)'. If the content
of the container is less than 250gm or less, the items 5 to 9 may
be replaced by the statement " The seed in this container conform
to the minimum limits of germination and purity prescribed under
Percentage of Moisture Allowed
wheat, groundnut, cowpea, soyabean
(cucumber, bitter gourd, etc)
problems arise when -
Low quality seeds are stored
2. Seeds are not adequately dried
3. Seeds are stored in poorly constructed godowns
4. Seeds are stored for a very long time.
influencing loss of viability of rice.
Moisture content, (2) temperature (3) relative humidity - are the
- 12% moisture content - no fungal mould grow.
At 13% MC mould grow.
At 15% to 18% MC - maximum fungal growth.
At 8% RH - stored pests survive but do not multiply.
At 14% RH-insects multiply and destroy seeds.
At 18-20% RH - heating of seeds due to heavy respiration - insects
& moulds grow.
At 40-60% RH- seeds germinate.
plants can be artificially cloned by leaf cuttings; species that
work well include African violet (Saintpaulia), Peperomia, bryophyllum
(Kalanchoe) and jade plant (Crassula). In this process a leaf (blade
+ petiole) is removed from the donor plant. The leaf is placed in
moist soil or, perhaps, in water and placed in the light.
The leaf blade, as usual, produces IAA (auxin). This auxin is transported
basipetally (down the petiole) as usual.
IAA accumulates in the base of the petiole to the point that a callus
tissue (tumor) forms. A callus is a mixture of meristematic cells
and parenchyma cells. Since these cells do not have a determined
fate, it is possible to influence these cells to differentiate in
just about any direction.
IAA continues to accumulate in the callus. The concentration rises
to the point that roots are initiated on the callus.
roots produce cytokinins (CK). This hormone is transported acropetally
(away from the root tip, toward the callus). The cytokinin accumulates
in the callus.
As the concentration of cytokinin accumulates in the callus, it
stimulates shoot formation. The shoots then can grow up. In the
end you have a shoot with roots...a whole plant!
some plants, the callus sends up multiple shoots. In those cases,
the gardener has to separate the individual plantlets before potting
up the individual plants.
Obviously this process can be accelerated if the last centimeter
of the petiole is dusted with a mixture of talcum powder and synthetic
auxin (indole butyric acid) before the leaf is planted in the moist
soil at the beginning. This mixture is often called "rooting
hormone" and two leading brands of this are Rootone&174
species cannot be propagated from leaves alone. The leaf may root,
but shoots do not form, or form so slowly that you do not dare wait
for it. For such species, it may be possible to instead make a stem
cutting. The process is very much the same, but is much faster due
to the contributions of auxin from several leaves, and the contributions
of photosynthesis in several leaves.
the gardener cuts a short piece of stem (three or four internodes
maximum). It does not have to include an apical meristem, but often
it does. The leaves from the lowest node are torn from the stem.
The basal end of the cutting may be dusted with rooting hormone
(if needed or desired).
several leaves remaining on the stem cutting all send IAA (auxin)
down from the blade. This accumulates at the basal end of the cutting
(along with any applied rooting hormone). The accumulated auxin
stimulates formation of callus and ultimately roots.
we have a stem with roots, our plant has been cloned and the process
tip layer is a natural method of propagation in such species as
black raspberry. A simple layer is fundamentally an artificially-forced
tip layer. In many shrubs that cannot be cloned by leaf or stem
cuttings, a simple layer may work well. Rather than making a single
leaf or a small stem cutting provide for its own needs and enough
extra to make a new plant, a simple layer can be used to allow contributions
from the whole donor plant to drive the cloning process.
1. A stem, low on the shrub, is arched mechanically to the ground
and held in place with some small wire hoops.
2. The lower surface of the held stem is wounded (with a small notch
or some grooves) and the wound is dusted with rooting hormone.
3. The wounded, dusted, section of the stem is buried in the moist
4. With time, the hormone powder and contributions of IAA from the
rest of the leaves on the donor plant cause roots to form from the
5. The rooted stem can then be separated from the donor plant.
a gardener is trying to propagate a tree instead of a shrub, there
is no way to bring a branch down to the ground for a tip layer.
If you cannot bring Mohammed to the Mountain, then you bring the
Mountain to Mohammed! This is the idea of the air layer.
1. Somewhere along a young stem in the tree canopy, the lower surface
of a stem is wounded and the wound dusted with rooting hormone.
2. A few hundred cubic centimeters of moist sphagnum moss or even
moist soil is packed around the wound.
3. The sphagnum/soil is held in place with plastic film, and the
film is secured around the stem with twist-ties above and below
the wound. The soil has to be kept continually moist.
4. With time, roots develop in the small wad of sphagnum. The rooted
branch can then be cut from the donor tree.
one is trying to make many thousands of individuals of one clone,
then a different method is needed. Tissue culture to the rescue!
First you need some donor tissue. This is called the explant. The
tissue has to be at least parenchyma, but is better if it is meristematic.
The tissue has to be surface-sterilized. This is done by immersing
the tissue in a solution of sodium hypochlorite (laundry bleach),
rinsing in sterile distilled water, then perhaps slicing off the
killed surface layers.
The explant is placed in a sterilized liquid medium on a shaking
machine. This medium contains water, minerals, vitamins, sugar (energy
for growth by respiration), and dilute auxin (usually indole-butyric
acid). The auxin stimulates the cells of the explant to divide rapidly
to form callus. The callus is broken up by the shaking action. Thus
the liquid medium becomes loaded with small callus pieces.
The callus pieces are now spread across a sterile solid medium.
The medium contains water, minerals, vitamins, sugar, and cytokinins.
The medium is solidified into a gel by adding a small amount of
agar. The container is kept under light. The combination of cytokinin
and light causes shoots to be initiated on each callus piece.
The shoots are moved onto a solid medium that contains water, minerals,
and agar. Depending on the species, there may also be some auxin
in the medium. The auxin from the leaves on the shoots (or in combination
with auxin from the medium) cause root initiation.
The plants can be moved to soil and slowly eased from humid conditions
to successively drier conditions. Ultimately the plants can be moved
to field conditions.
Because each explant can initiate indefinitely many callus pieces,
and each callus piece can make a new plant, the number of plants
produced can be extremely high.
of a fertiliser depends on unit cost of nutrient present in it and
its agronomic efficiency under a given situation. Fertiliser is
a valuable input and measures should be taken to reduce its losses
and to increase its uptake and utilisation by the crop. Selecting
a situation-specific fertilizer and choosing the time and method
of application according to crop demand would minimize losses and
increase its efficiency.
crop plants recover only 25-35% of the nitrogen applied as fertilizers.
Losses occur by ammonia volatilisation, denitrification, immobilization
to organic forms, leaching and run off. Utmost care should be bestowed
in selecting the type of fertiliser as well as the timing and method
of the nitrogen fertilizer
In submerged rice soil, ammoniacal and ammonia-producing fertilizers
like urea are most suitable since ammonia is the most stable form
of nitrogen under such conditions.
For acidic upland soils, ammoniacal fertilizers are most suitable
during rainy season since ammonium is adsorbed on soil particles
and hence leaching losses are reduced. Adsorbed ammonium is gradually
released for nitrification and thus becomes available to crops for
a longer period.
In highly acidic upland soils, urea is preferred to ammonium sulphate
as the former is less acid forming.
In alkaline upland soils of low rainfall regions, nitrate fertilizers
are preferred to ammoniacal fertilisers or urea since ammonia may
be lost by volatilization under alkaline conditions
of nitrogenous fertilisers
Almost all the nitrogenous fertilizers are highly amenable to losses
and since most of the crops require nitrogen during the entire growth
period, split application is necessary to ensure maximum utilization
More number of splits may be given for long duration crops as well
as perennial crops.
Nitrogen losses from fertilisers are more in coarse textured soils
with low cation exchange capacity (CEC) than in fine textured soils.
Hence more number of splits is necessary to reduce loss of fertilizer
nitrogen from sandy and other light soils.
For medium duration rice varieties, nitrogenous fertilizers should
be given in three splits, as basal, at maximum tillering and at
panicle initiation stage.
In coarse textured sandy or loamy soils, the entire dose of nitrogenous
fertilizers may be applied in 3-4 splits at different stages of
growth of rice crop.
In areas where split application of nitrogen is not feasible due
to water stagnation after planting/sowing, full dose of nitrogen
as basal may be given in the form of neem coated or coal tar coated
In double-cropped wetlands, 50% of N requirement of the first crop
may be applied in the organic form.
As far as possible, liming should be done one or two weeks prior
to the application of ammoniacal or ammonia forming fertilizer like
urea since ammonia is likely to be lost by volatilization if applied
along with lime
Almost 70% of N in urea applied by broadcast to flooded soil is
lost by volatilization, immobilization and by denitrification
Measures to reduce the loss of N from applied urea
Urea super granules or urea briquettes may be used in places where
soil is clayey and has cation exchange capacity more than 10 cmol
(+) per kg of soil.
Sulphur or lac coated urea is suitable where soil is liable to intermittent
flooding and in situations where water management is difficult.
This is more suitable for direct sown crop.
Urea may be mixed with moist soil and kept for 24-48 hours before
application to the field. Alternatively, urea may be mixed with
moist soil, made into balls of about three-inch diameter and dried
under shade. The balls may be placed deep into subsoil.
Mixing urea with five times its weight of neem cake prolongs the
period of nitrogen availability to the crop.
For submerged soils, coating urea with coal tar and kerosene (100
kg urea is mixed with 2 kg coal tar dissolved in one litre kerosene)
before mixing with neem cake is preferred to simple mixing with
Coating urea with neem extract (containing about 5% neem triterpenes)
at 1% rate and shade-drying for 1 to 1.5 hours before applying in
direct-seeded puddled lowland rice increases nitrogen use efficiency.
As far as possible, urea may be applied by deep placement or plough
sole placement. Deep placement of prilled urea or super granules
during the last ploughing followed by flooding and planting is beneficial
in light soils. Urea briquettes or super granules may be placed
between four hills of transplanted rice, whereas sulphur coated
or lac coated urea may be broadcast on the surface.
Foliar spray of 5% urea solution can be practised in situations
where quick response to applied nitrogen is required. If power sprayers
are used, the concentration may be increased to 15%. Fresh urea
should be used to avoid toxicity due to biuret.
phosphorus is an expensive input and its management poses serious
problems due to several complexities in its behaviour in different
types of soil. This often results in its poor recovery from applied
of phosphatic fertilizer
In slightly acid, neutral or mildly alkaline soils, water-soluble
phosphatic fertilizers are more suitable.
In wetland rice soils, water-soluble phosphatic fertilizers are
preferable as pH of most of the submerged soils is near neutral.
In strongly acidic soils whose pH does not rise above 5.5 to 6.0
even on submergence, phosphatic fertilizers containing citrate soluble
form of P like basic slag, dicalcium phosphate, steamed bone meal
etc. are suitable.
For highly acidic upland soils or submerged soils whose pH will
not rise above 5.5 even on submergence, powdered rock phosphate
is suitable. Soil acidity converts tricalcium phosphate in rock
phosphate to plant available monocalcium form.
For short duration crops where quick response is required, water-soluble
phosphatic fertilizers are most suitable.
For perennial crops like rubber, oil palm, coffee, tea, cardamom
etc. phosphorus in the form of rock phosphate can be applied.
In black soil (Chittur taluk of Palakkad District) phosphatic fertilizers
containing water-soluble phosphate like single superphosphate are
of phosphatic fertilizers
Acid soils have to be amended with lime, dolomite or magnesium silicate
and alkali soils with iron pyrite or sulphur before application
of phosphatic fertilizers. This will help to reduce fixation and
increase availability of P.
Surface application or broadcasting is preferred for shallow rooted
crops whereas placement in the root zone is advantageous in deep-rooted
Rock phosphates can be used advantageously in rice grown in acid
soils during the virippu season. Powdered rock phosphate may be
applied and mixed thoroughly with soil by ploughing. After two or
three weeks, the field may be flooded, worked up and planted with
rice. Under this situation, phosphorus in rock phosphate gets converted
to iron phosphate, which on subsequent waterlogging becomes available
to the rice crop.
Rock phosphate can be used successfully as a phosphatic source for
leguminous crop since its root system can extract phosphorous from
In single crop wetlands where rice is grown in the virippu season,
application of phosphatic fertilizers can be dispensed with for
the rice crop, if the second crop (usually legume or green manure)
is given phosphatic fertilizers.
In case of rice-legume cropping sequence in acid soils, application
of rock phosphate to the pulse crop helps to skip phosphatic fertilizers
in the succeeding rice crop.
Since phosphorus requirement of seasonal crops is confined to the
early stages, phosphatic fertilizers are to be applied at the time
of seeding or planting. Topdressing of phosphatic fertilizer leads
to wastage of the fertilizer nutrient. Further, excessive phosphates
may lead to deficiency of micronutrients such as zinc, boron etc.
Under adverse soil conditions and where quick result is required,
spraying water-soluble phosphatic fertilizers like triple superphosphate
or hot water extract of superphosphate can be resorted to.
most crops, potassium can be supplied as muriate of potash. But
in crops like tobacco and potato, muriate of potash may cause chloride
injury, reducing quality of the produce. In such cases, K may be
applied as potassium sulphate.
of potassium fertilizer
In coarse textured soils and in heavy rainfall regions, potassium
fertilizers should be applied in as many splits as possible, to
reduce loss of potassium.
In fine textured soils, the entire dose of potassium fertilizers
may be applied as basal.
In acid soils, potassium fertilizers should be applied only after
lime application to prevent loss of potassium by leaching.
nutrient content of common fertilizers
manures are waste or by products (animal/birds waste, litter, crop
refuse or any other organic matter) either decomposed or treated
or fresh, which enriches soil. They are bulky i.e. nutrient contents
are low per unit volume. Concentrated OM contains higher % of nutrients
such us oil cakes, blood/bone/fish meal important effects are:
1. improve the physical properties of the soil
2. supply all nutrients for plant growth
3. enhances soil microbial activity
4. provide a buffering action in soil reactions
5. improve nutrient holding capacity of the soil
Green manuring refers to the practice of incorporating plant materials
while they are green. It is practiced as green leaf manuring and
green manuring insitu.
nutrient content of common Organic manures
NUTRIENTS IN ORGANIC MANURES
0.4 - 0.8
Composition of organic manures vary widely
The use of biofertilisers is quite important while practicing the
concepts of integrated plant nutrient management and organic farming.
Some of the commonly used biofertilisers in Kerala are as follows.
Rhizobium (Bradyrhizobium and Azorhizobium)
It induces better root nodulation and stem nodulation (Azorhizobium)
in inoculated plants and thereby brings down the requirement of
nitrogen fertilizer for the cultivation of pulses, oil seeds and
legume green manures. Commercially it is available as carrier based
inoculums. Method of application is seed treatment.
Suitable only for upland crops like vegetables, tapioca, plantation
and orchard crops. It is available as carrier-based inoculum. It
fixes N about 15-20 kg/ha under ideal upland conditions and thereby
reduces the requirement of nitrogen fertilizers by 10-20 per cent.
Methods of application are seed treatment, seedling dip and direct
It is suitable for both upland and wetland conditions and is available
as carrier-based inoculum. It fixes N about 20-25 kg per ha under
ideal conditions thereby effecting a reduction of 25 per cent in
the quantity of N fertilizers required. Treatment with Azospirillum
also induces better root formation in inoculated plants. Hence this
biofertilizer is also recommended for root induction in polybag-raised
seedlings of plantation and orchard crops and also for vegetable
crops. The isolates of Azospirillum brasilense strains AZR 15 and
AZR 37 from Kuttanad soils are highly effective for rice, vegetables
and nursery plants. The strains AZ 1 and AZ 2 are effective in vegetable
and nursery plants.
treatment: For treating 5-10 kg seeds, 500 g culture is required.
Moisten the seeds by sprinkling water or rice-gruel water. Take
500 g culture in a plastic tray/basin, add moistened seeds, mix
well and dry in shade for 30 minutes. This may be sown immediately.
root dip (for transplanted crops): Slurry of the culture is
prepared by mixing 500 g culture with 50 ml of water and the roots
are dipped in the slurry for 15-20 minutes before transplanting.
application: Mix the culture with FYM or compost in the ratio
1:25 and apply directly in the soil.
Mix 2 kg of culture in 60 litres of water and soak the seeds required
for 1 ha (60 kg) for 24 hours before sowing. At the time of transplanting,
dip the roots of seedlings for 15-20 minutes in the culture slurry
prepared by mixing 2 kg inoculum with 40 litres of water. This slurry
can be used for treating seedlings required for 1 ha. Another 2
kg culture may be applied to the field along with FYM or compost.
Blue green algae(BGA)
Mainly recommended for wetland rice cultivation. However, the use
of this biofertilizer is not feasible in acidic soils with pH below
6.0. It is available as carrier-based inoculum and it fixes N about
25-30 kg/ha under ideal conditions.
of application: Direct broadcasting in the rice fields @ 10 kg/ha
one week after transplanting the seedlings.
It is suitable for wetland rice cultivation. The required quantity
of azolla will have to be raised in the farmers' field itself. Fixes
N about 25 to 30 kg / ha.
of application: Apply fresh azolla @ 10 t/ha before transplanting
the rice seedlings at the time of ploughing.
Phosphate solubilising bacteria and fungi
Recommended mainly for upland crops raised in neutral and slightly
alkaline soils. Available as carrier-based inoculum. Enables the
efficient utilization of cheaper sources of phosphatic fertilizers
such as rock phosphate by crop plants in neutral and alkaline soils.
Method of application: Seed treatment and direct application.
Vesicular / arbuscular mycorrhiza (VAM/ AM)
Vesicular arbuscular mycorrhiza is mostly recommended for upland
especially for raising container and tissue culture plantlets and
transplanted crops. It mainly improves the uptake of available P
by inoculated plants. There is also an enhanced absorption of water
and other nutrients such as N and K and certain micronutrients.
Mycorrhiza inoculation can improve the survival and establishment
of tissue culture plantlets under field conditions. Also induces
better resistance against certain soil borne plant pathogens. It
is commercially available as granular inoculum consisting of infected
roots and soil with mycorrhizal spores. It is given as soil application.
fungus Glomus microcarpum var. microcarpum is suitable for tropical
tuber crops. The inoculation can be done by placing inoculum (3-5
g/sett) beneath the sett before planting. The rate of spore load
in the inoculum should be to the tune of 50 to 400 spores per 100
g soil medium. Method of application is the rooted infected cutting
techniques of biofertilisers
Five hundred grams of commercially available inoculum will be required
for treatment of seeds for one-hectare area. For this, thick slurry
of the carrier-based inoculum is initially prepared by mixing 500
g of the inoculum in 1.25 litre of water. The stickiness of the
biofertilizer on seed surface can be significantly improved by using
10% jagerry solution or 5% sugar solution supplemented with 40%
boiled and cooled gum arabic solution or rice-gruel water. The required
quantity of seed material is then gently mixed with this slurry
by taking care not to damage the seed coat. The treated seeds are
spread evenly over a gunny bag and dried in shade and sown immediately
in moist soil. Under no circumstances, the treated seeds are exposed
to direct sunlight for a longer period of time since the UV rays
of solar radiation will reduce significantly the population of inoculated
bacteria on seed surface.
This method of application is mainly recommended for transplanted
crops. In this procedure, the roots of seedlings to be transplanted
are dipped in loose water slurry of the biofertilizer (500 g in
2.5 litre of water) for 20 minutes, prior to transplanting.
Soil application is generally recommended for all types of biofertilisers
except Rhizobium, Bradyrhizobium and Azorhizobium. The method is
to apply the biofertilizer after mixing with dried FYM, compost
or vermicompost @ 1:25. For crops of six-month duration, the recommended
dose is 1-2 kg/ha. This can be increased to 2-4 kg/ha for crops
of more than six-month duration. For perennial crops, 10 to 25 g
of the biofertilizer is to be applied in the root zone during the
first year and 25 to 50 g during subsequent years. This can be done
at the time of sowing, transplanting or during intercultivation.
influencing the efficient use of bio-fertilisers in Kerala
Use adequate quantity of organic manure (as per the recommendation
for each crop) along with biofertiliser application. This is essential
to ensure better survival, growth and activity of the introduced
microbial inoculums in acidic soils.
Liming is essential if the soil pH is below 6.0. In moderately acidic
soils, the application of lime @ 250 kg/ha is recommended along
with biofertilizer treatment.
Irrigation is essential during summer months after biofertilizer
application to ensure the survival of the introduced microbial inoculum
in the soil.
Since N biofertilisers can supplement only a part of the nitrogen
requirement of the inoculated plant, low dose of nitrogen and full
doses of phosphorus and potassium as per the recommendation may
be applied. This is essential to ensure better plant growth and
yield. Similarly, in the case of P biofertilisers, the full doses
of nitrogen and potassium should be applied. However, there should
be a gap of at least one week between biofertilizer and chemical
Use only biofertilisers, which are manufactured as per the quality
parameters prescribed by the Bureau of Indian Standards. In the
case of bacterial biofertilisers, the prescribed standard is that
in the final product, the population of the desired bacterium should
not be less than ten million per gram of the carrier material and
there should not be any contamination with other microorganisms
when examined at 1:100000 dilution. Further, it should have a shelf
life of at least six months.
The commercially available biofertiliser should always be used before
the expiry date marked on the culture packet.
Topdressing with super phosphate 25 kg/ha 10 days after inoculation
of BGA will enhance its growth under field conditions.
Since the occurrence of green algae in rice field can affect the
normal growth and proliferation of BGA, the population of green
algae should be controlled initially by applying copper sulphate
@ 4 kg/ha.
In moderately acidic soils of pH around 6.5, root nodulation by
Rhizobium and Bradyrhizobium can be improved by pelleting with finely
powdered calcium carbonate. (See recommendation under cowpea)
Application of P2O5 @ 1 kg/ha is recommended once in 4 days in P2O5
deficient soils to ensure good growth of azolla. The development
of a reddish purple colour in azolla is a typical symptom of P2O5
Since a floating population of azolla can release its bound nutrients
only during decay in the soil, it is essential to incorporate azolla
in the soil prior to the transplanting of rice seedlings.
soils are characterised by high saturation of the exchange complex
with hydrogen and aluminium. Crops grown in such soils suffer due
to unavailability of most plant nutrients, especially calcium. Application
of liming materials increases the availability of nutrients and
alleviates Ca deficiency.
lime [CaO], slaked lime [Ca(OH)2], powdered limestone [CaCO3] and
dolomite [CaMg(CO3)2] are some of the materials used as sources
In acidic submerged soils, flooding brings about rise in soil pH
and hence response to lime is less marked.
Legumes are benefited most by liming.
For better results, liming materials should be incorporated into
For seasonal crops and in situations where immediate results are
required, burnt lime or slaked lime may be used. For perennial crops,
powdered limestone or dolomite is sufficient.
Extreme care should be taken while broadcasting burnt lime and slaked
lime as they can cause scorching of leaves.
In case of wetland rice, drain the field prior to lime application
and re-flood after 24 hours. Flushing the soil by sequential flooding
and draining will help to wash out the displaced acid from the soil.
In extreme case of calcium deficiency, a 1% solution of calcium
chloride may be applied by foliar spraying.
value of liming materials
carbonate (powdered lime stone)
lime (quick lime)
"Cultural control is the deliberate manipulation of environment
to make it less favorable for pests by disrupting their reproductive
cycles, eliminating their food, or making it more favorable for
their natural enemies"
Cultural control is an important component of Integrated Pest Management
(IPM). It is one of the oldest and most effective methods of pest
suppression. Cultural control methods are widely used in pest management
systems. These methods comprise of regular gardening operations,
the purpose is to destroy pests or to prevent them from causing
injury to gardens. Examples Include cultivated techniques, adjustment
of planting dates, choice of cultivars (resistant varieties), general
crop hygiene, manipulation of harvesting procedures, crop rotation,
crop covers, etc. Below are descriptions of some of these methods
to help you choose ways to help deter pests in your garden.
Choose resistant plant varieties.
Crop rotation can be very important in fighting disease and pests.
Rotate crops year to year. Do not plant the same things in the same
place year after year
Some pests prefer certain plants to others. By planting sacrificial
plants, you can keep away pests from the plants you want.
A floating row cover is a physical barrier used to protect crops,
particularly annual vegetables. Floating row covers should be used
when the damage is being done by the insect larvae. It prevents
the adult flying insect from landing and depositing eggs on the
plants. The floating row cover should be placed over the entire
crop at transplanting or seeding time and it must cover the plants
application has become more complex over the past several years.
The number of different kinds of pesticides available for use has
increased. Effects on wildlife and the environment are now known
to be important considerations. Highly toxic pesticides require
special equipment and safety measures. Pesticide applicators, therefore,
need to know more about safety and proper use than ever before.
New applicators must know to protect the environment from pesticide
contamination, the proper handling of pesticides, and protection
from personal injury.
pesticide is any chemical which is used by man to control pests.
The pests may be insects, plant diseases, fungi, weeds, nematodes,
snails, slugs, etc. Therefore, insecticides, fungicides, herbicides,
etc., are all types of pesticides. Some pesticides must only contact
(touch) the pest to be deadly. Others must be swallowed to be effective.
The way that each pesticide attacks a pest suggests the best way
to apply it; to reach and expose all the pests. For example, a pesticide
may be more effective and less costly as a bait, rather than as
a surface spray.
are chemicals used to control insects. Often the word "insecticide"
is confused with the word "pesticide." It is, however,
just one of many types of pesticides. An insecticide may kill the
insect by touching it or it may have to be swallowed to be effective.
Some insecticides kill both by touch and by swallowing. Insecticides
called Systemics may be absorbed, injected, or fed into the
plant or animal to be protected. When the insect feeds on this plant
or animal, it ingests the systemic chemical and is killed.
Broad Spectrum. Insecticides vary in the numbers of different
kinds of insects they kill. Some insecticides kill only a few kinds
of insects. Sometimes you can choose these insecticides when you
wish to kill only one insect pest and not other beneficial insects
in the area. Many insecticides are general purpose or wide range
killers. These "broad spectrum" pesticides are used when
several different kinds of insects are a problem. One chemical can
kill them all. No broad spectrum insecticide kills all insects;
each varies as to the kinds of insects it controls.
Spectrum. While many insecticides are broad spectrum, killing
a wide variety of animals by attacking a system common to all, such
as the nervous system, a new group of insecticides are much more
selective. The chitin inhibitors only affect animals with chitin
in their exoskeleton (i.e. insects). Growth regulators are even
more specific. They affect certain groups of species that have a
particular hormone. Finally, pheromones are the most restrictive
because they react with only one species or one sex of a single
synthesis inhibitors interfere with the development and molting
of immature insects causing their death. Chitin is the primary structural
chemical in an insects body wall. An immature insect treated with
a chitin inhibitor dies the next time it attempts to molt.
growth regulators or IGRs mimic the action of an insect's naturally
occurring juvenile hormone. They interfere with certain normal processes
and prevent immature insects from completing development into normal
reproductive adults. The effects of IGRs on insects include abnormal
molting, twisted wings, loss of mating behavior, and sometimes death
to embryos in eggs. IGRs attack a growth process found only in insects,
thus there is a great margin of safety for humans and other vertebrates.
However, one disadvantage is that growth regulators act slowly,
since they do not kill the insect until it molts into an adult.
are naturally produced chemicals used by animals to communicate
to each other. There are three basic types of pheromones. Aggregation
pheromones attract many individuals together, for example, a site
where food may be plentiful. Sex pheromones are used by one sex
of a species to attract a mate. Trail pheromones are deposited by
walking insects, such as ants, so that others can follow. Synthetic
pheromones produced in laboratories mimic these natural chemicals.
They are used to attract pest insects into traps, disrupt mating,
and monitor populations of insects. Because they do not kill insects,
they are often not considered to be pesticides.
Term vs. Residual. Insecticides also vary in how long they last
as a killing agent. Some break down almost immediately into nontoxic
by -products. These "short term" chemicals are very good
in situations where the insects do not return or where long-term
exposure could injure non-target plants or animals. For example,
short-term insecticides are often used in homes and dwellings where
people and domestic animals might be exposed. Other insecticides
remain active killers for a fairly long period of time. These "residual"
pesticides are very useful when the insects are a constant problem
and where they will not be an environmental and/or health hazard.
For example, residuals are often used for fly control in livestock
buildings or for termite control in wooden structures.
(or Acaricides) are chemicals used to control mites (tiny Insecticides
spider-like animals) and ticks. The chemicals usually must contact
the mites or ticks to be effective. These animals are so numerous
and small, that great care must be used to completely cover the
area on which the mites live. Miticides are very similar in action
to insecticides and often the same pesticide kills both insects
and mites. The terms "broad spectrum," "short term,"
and "residual" are also used
are chemicals used to control the fungi which cause molds, rots,
and plant diseases. All fungicides work by coming in contact with
the fungus, because fungi do not "swallow" in the normal
sense. Therefore, most fungicides are applied over a large surface
area to try to directly hit every fungus. Some fungicides may be
systemic in that the plant to be protected may be fed or injected
with the chemical. The chemical then moves throughout the plant,
killing the fungi. to describe miticides.
vs. Eradicant. There are two basic approaches in the use of
fungicides. One is designed to prevent the plant from getting the
disease. These fungicides are used as "protectants" and
are similar in purpose to polio and smallpox vaccinations for humans.
They are applied before the disease gets a start. This type of fungicide
is very useful when a particular disease or group of diseases are
likely to attack a plant or crop, year after year. Protectants,
for example, have often been used as a routine precaution on fruit
and vegetable crops.
protectant fungicides are fungistatic. This means they prevent or
inhibit fungal growth. Once the fungistatic action ceases, the controlled
fungus may grow again or produce spores. Thus, a protectant fungicide
may have to be applied at regular intervals to continue the protection
other type of fungicide kills the disease after it appears on (or
in) the plant. These fungicides, called "eradicants,"
are like penicillin or other antibiotics which cure diseases in
humans after the sickness appears. Eradicants are less common than
protectants because once the fungus is established in a plant, it
is often difficult to destroy. Eradicants are often used when protectants
aren't available, aren't applied in time, or are too expensive.
Eradicants are also applied when the disease appears unexpectedly
on a plant or in an area. For example, a common use is on fruit
and vegetables when the protectant spray wasn't applied on time
to prevent infection. Eradicants are also used by orchardists in
combatting diseases of fruit trees, such as apple scab.
are chemicals used to control unwanted plants. These chemicals are
a bit different from other pesticides because they are used to kill
or slow the growth of some plants, rather than to protect them.
Some herbicides kill every plant they contact, while others kill
only certain plants.
herbicides are toxic to all plants. These are often used when
no plants are wanted in an area. For example, nonselective herbicides
could be used for clearing under guardrails or for total control
of weeds in industrial areas.
Selective herbicides kill some plants with little or no injury
to other plants. Usually selective types will kill either broadleaved
plants or grassy plants. These are useful for lawns, golf courses
or in areas with desirable trees. Some very selective herbicides
may kill only certain plants in a group; for example, crabgrass
killers on lawns.
vs. Preemergence vs. Postemergence. The timing
of an herbicide application is important. Care must be used to get
the job done effectively without injuring desirable plants. The
directions on the label tell you when to apply the herbicide for
best results. Preplanting treatments are made before the
crop is planted. These chemicals may be used in seed beds or incorporated
into the soil before planting.
Any treatment made before the crop and weed appears is called preemergence.
The application may be made before both the crop and weeds appear,
or after the crop appears but before the weeds appear. The label
or directions will state "preemergence to the crop," "preemergence
to the weeds," or "preemergence to both crop and weeds."
the herbicide treatment is made after the crop or weeds appear,
it is called postemergence. Postemergence applications must
be very selective. They must control the weeds but leave the crop
unharmed. Often, the chemical will be applied postemergent to the
crop but preemergent to the weeds.
Growth Regulators and Harvest Aids
plant growth regulator (or plant regulator) increases, decreases
or changes normal growth or reproduction in a plant. Fertilizers
and other nutrients are not included. Some growth regulators are
used to move up or move back the normal harvest date for the crop.
Others are used to obtain better quality and/or yield of the crop.
Electric power utilities could use growth regulators to slow the
growth of a tree threatening power lines, thus saving the tree from
Defoliants and desiccants are pesticide materials generally referred
to as harvest aids. A defoliant causes the leaves of a plant to
drop off early, but does not kill the plant. A desiccant draws moisture
from a plant, killing the plant foliage.
are chemicals used to control rats, mice, bats and other rodents.
Chemicals which control other mammals, birds, and fish are also
grouped in this category by regulatory agencies. Most rodenticides
are stomach poisons and are often applied as baits. Even rodenticides
which act by contacting the pest are usually not applied over large
surfaces because of the hazard to domestic animals or desirable
wildlife. They are usually applied in limited areas such as runways,
known feeding places, or as baits.
are chemicals used to control nematodes. Nematodes are tiny
hir-like worms, many of which live in the soil and feed on plant
roots. Very few of these worms live above ground. Usually, soil
fumigants are used to control nematodes in the soil. However, a
few contact insecticides and fungicides are also effective against
these tiny worms.
are chemicals used to control snails and slugs. Usually the chemicals
must be eaten by the pest to work. Baits are often used to attract
and kill snails or slugs in an area.
repellent is a pesticide that makes a site or food unattractive
to a target pest. They are registered in the same way other pesticides
are and must be used according to the label. Insect repellents are
available as aerosols and lotions and can be applied to skin, clothing,
or plants to repel biting and nuisance insects. Vertebrate repellents
are available as concentrates to be mixed with water, powders, and
granules. They can be sprayed or painted on nursery crops, ornamental
plantings, orchards, vineyards, vegetables, and seeds. Repelling
deer, dogs, birds, raccoons, and others can protect sites from damage.
precautions to avoid exposure when wettable powders, dust or granules
are added to the sprayer tank. When you add materials to the sprayer
tank, air is forced out and carries some of the pesticide particles
with it. If the solvent in the pesticide is toxic or flammable (or
both), be sure the mixing operation is performed in an area where
ventilation is adequate. The addition of small amounts of materials
such as emulsifiers or thickeners will drastically alter the physical
properties of the spray solution. Therefore, the applicator should
check the pesticide label to be sure she or he is operating according
types of solvents, some of which are chlorinated, are used in the
pesticide formulation processes. Vapors of chlorinated solvents
are very dangerous to breathe. They can cause a "high,"
dizziness, or even unconsciousness. They also can cause permanent
damage to the kidney, liver, and nervous system in workers exposed
to the vapours for a prolonged time.
be aware of the meteorological conditions existing during pesticide
application. Loss of spray from a treated area increases during
high winds or low humidity. Usually, low wind and high humidity
conditions are most prevalent before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m.
spraying near beehives, lakes, streams, pastures, houses, schools,
playgrounds, hospitals or sensitive crops whenever possible. If
these areas must be sprayed, do not spray during windy or low humidity
conditions and always spray downwind from the sensitive area.
possible, begin spraying in the end of the field that will permit
any drift from the sprayer to be blown away from the next area to
be treated. Likewise with airblast sprayers; direct the air blast
from the sprayer with the prevailing wind and away from the next
area to be treated. These two procedures will minimize the amount
of pesticide that will be blown onto the operator. Remember, these
are only guidelines and are intended to supplement the good judgment
of the pesticide operator.
To minimize drift hazards, use the lowest pressure possible, the
lowest boom height and the largest spray tips, and add thickeners
(if the pesticide label permits) in areas where drift is likely
to be particularly hazardous.
alert for nozzle clogging and changes in nozzle patterns. If nozzles
clog or other troubles occur in the field, shut the sprayer off
and move to an unsprayed area before dismounting from the sprayer
to work on it. If nozzles must be cleaned in the field, use a toothbrush
or a toothpick for cleaning - never a metal object. A metal object
can damage the orifice in the spray tip and significantly alter
the spray pattern. We recommend carrying extra spray tips on the
sprayer so that plugged tips can be replaced with clean ones. Never
try to unclog a nozzle by blowing through it.
the pesticide label for re-entry and preharvest intervals. The re-entry
interval is the elapsed time after a pesticide application before
workers can safely re-enter a field. The preharvest interval is
the elapsed time between a pesticide application and harvest of
personnel should thoroughly clean the inside and outside of mixing,
loading, and application equipment immediately after use. People
who clean contaminated equipment should wear proper protective clothing,
including rubber boots, a rubber apron, goggles, and possibly a
respirator. A specific area should be designated for cleaning operations.
Use a rack or cement apron with a well-designed sump to catch contaminated
wash water and pesticides. The cleanup process is important because
many chemicals will rapidly corrode some metals and may also react
with succeeding chemicals, thus possibly causing a loss of effectiveness.
clean a sprayer, mix about two pounds of detergent per 40 gallons
of water in the tank. Circulate this mixture throughout the bypass
or agitator nozzles for 30 minutes and then drain, allowing some
solution to pass through the booms or nozzles. If phenoxy herbicides
such as 2,4-D, 2,4,5-T, or brush killer were used in the sprayer,
rinse with an ammonia or charcoal solution.
make an ammonia rinse, fill the tank one-third to one-half full
and add two quarts of household ammonia per 25 gallons of water.
Circulate the solution and allow a small amount to flow through
the nozzles. Allow the remaining solution to stand overnight to
neutralize any herbicide remaining in the equipment. Then pump the
solution through the nozzles. After rinsing with detergent or ammonia,
flush thoroughly with clean water.
the sprayer is to be stored for a prolonged time, add one to five
gallons of lightweight oil (about one gallon of oil per 40 gallons
of water) before the final flushing. As the water is pumped from
the sprayer, the oil will leave a protective coating on the inside
of the tank, pump and plumbing.
prevent corrosion, remove nozzle tips and screens and store them
in a can of light oil, such as diesel fuel or kerosene. Follow directions
in the owner's manual regarding the proper procedures for storing
engine-equipped sprayers. Before storing the sprayer, all lines,
hoses, valves and the pump should be inspected for damaged parts
or leaks. Damaged parts should be replaced before the sprayer is
pesticides in a locked and posted facility where children or other
untrained people cannot get to them. Read the labels on pesticide
containers for correct storage procedures. Select a storage site
high enough that damage from flooding will be unlikely and downwind
and downhill from sensitive areas such as houses, play areas and
ponds. Pesticide storage facilities should also be located away
from homes and livestock facilities to avoid or minimize contamination.
and expended pesticide containers are best stored in a separate
building, room, or enclosure, depending on the size of the pesticide
inventory. The storage area should be on the first floor to minimize
contamination from a possible leaky container, and the storage area
must keep the pesticides dry, cool and out of direct sunlight. The
latter requirements are necessary because some pesticides are rendered
useless if they become too hot or damp, if they freeze, or if they
are exposed to ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
not store pesticides near food for human consumption, animal feed,
fertilizer, seed, veterinary supplies, or other stored products.
To prevent contamination or to avoid accidentally using the wrong
pesticide, store different pesticides in separate locations within
the storage area.
pesticides only in the original container, with the label plainly
visible. Never store pesticides in anything used as a food or drink
container, even for a short time. Storage of pesticides in such
containers is a common cause of accidental poisoning.
a spraying operation is started, rinse out the sprayer; remove and
clean all nozzles, nozzle screens and strainers. Make sure strainers
and nozzle screens are 50 mesh or larger when wettable powders are
used. Check all lines, valves, seals and the tank after filling
the sprayer with water and during calibration to be sure there are
no leaks in the spray system. For the operator's safety, replace
weather-cracked or worn hoses. Adjust the nozzle height and spacing
as suggested by the nozzle manufacturer or as specified on the pesticide
label. These requirements differ for a given pest or crop.
water that is clean enough should be used in the sprayer. A small
amount of silt or sand in the water rapidly wears pumps and other
parts of the sprayer system.
avoid having to dispose of a tank load of the wrong pesticide, check
out the job carefully before selecting the pesticide. After you
have selected the proper pesticide, mix only enough for the particular
job. Preventing a pesticide surplus is the best way to prevent a
your best efforts, however, you cannot always avoid surplus pesticides,
and you must take steps to dispose of them properly.
you mix too much pesticide for a job, try to find other areas with
the same pest problem and use any extra tank mix or rinse water
on these areas. In some cases, small amounts of surplus pesticide
can be diluted and reapplied to the treated area. Take extreme care
to prevent excessive residues, especially with herbicides, by making
sure that the total application rate does not exceed the maximum
rate for which the pesticide is labeled.
dispose of large quantities of pesticide, contact nearest krishibhavan
for assistance in properly disposing of excess pesticides in an
environmentally safe manner.
empty pesticide containers are not really empty. They still contain
small amounts of pesticides, even after they have been properly
rinsed. All containers, regardless of their type, should be rinsed
three times before disposal. The rinse water should be dumped into
the sprayer tank. Otherwise, the rinse water must be treated as
a surplus pesticide and disposed of properly. Rinse water should
never be dumped on the ground. Use the following rinse-and-drain
procedure to prepare containers for disposal:
the container into the spray tank and drain in a vertical position
for 30 seconds.
the container one-fifth to one-fourth full with rinse water.
thoroughly, pour into the spray tank and drain in a vertical position
for 30 seconds.
steps 2 and 3 until the container has been rinsed three times. Empty
the container into the spray tank and drain in a vertical position
for 30 seconds.
Rinsed containers should not be used for any other purpose.
of any pesticide container or pesticide-related waste by open dumping
or open burning is illegal.
biological control of pests involves using natural enemies of the
pest to control it - instead of chemical agents like insecticides
and herbicides. Not only should this be safer for the environment,
but - once established - the natural enemies might be able to sustain
their population avoiding the need for future treatments.
of the species that we consider pests are plants ("weeds")
or animals (especially insects) that have invaded a new habitat
without being accompanied by the natural enemies that kept them
in check in their original home. With increasing international travel
and trade, this problem becomes increasingly severe.
Pest Management (IPM) is a process consisting of the balanced
use of cultural, biological, and chemical procedures that are environmentally
compatible, economically feasible, and socially acceptable to reduce
pest populations to tolerable levels.
means that many strategies are used to avoid or solve a pest problem.
These strategies come from different disciplines, such as disease
information from plant pathologists, weed information from agronomists,
and insect information from entomologists.
are unwanted organisms that are a nuisance to man or domestic animals,
and can cause injury to humans, animals, plants, structures, and
is the process of making decisions in a systematic way to keep pests
from reaching intolerable levels. Small populations of pests can
often be tolerated; total eradication is often not necessary.
Reasons for having
a broader approach to Integrated Pest Management (IPM) han just
the use of chemicals.
a Balanced Ecosystem. Every ecosystem, made up of living things
and their non-living environment, has a balance; the actions of
one creature in the ecosystem usually affect other, different organisms.
The introduction of chemicals into the ecosystem can change this
balance, destroying certain species and allowing other species (sometimes
pests themselves) to dominate. Beneficial insects such as the ladybird
beetle and lacewing larvae, both of which consume pests, can be
killed by pesticides, leaving few natural mechanisms of pest control.
Can be Ineffective. Chemical pesticides are not always effective.
Pests can become resistant to pesticides. In fact, some 600 cases
of pests developing pesticide resistance have been documented to
date, including common lamb's-quarter, house flies, the Colorado
potato beetle, the Indian meal moth, Norway rats, and the greenhouse
whitefly. Furthermore, pests may survive in some situations where
the chemical does not reach pests, is washed off, is applied at
an improper rate, or is applied at an improper life stage of the
Is Not Difficult. Although some of the terms and
ideas may be new to you, practicing IPM is not difficult. Believe
it or not, you will have done much of the "work" for an
IPM approach if you've figured out the problem (the pest), determined
the extent of the damage, and decided on the action to take. These
steps are the same ones used in IPM.
Money. IPM can save money through avoiding crop
loss (due to pests), and avoiding unnecessary pesticide expense.
For example, farmers in Kuttanad have saved more than half there
expense for plant protection after the inception of ORP for pest
surveillance and forecasting.
a Healthy Environment. We have much to learn about the persistence
of chemicals in the environment, and their effect on living creatures.
However, more cases of contaminated groundwater appear each year,
and disposal of containers and unused pesticides still pose challenges
for applicators. Even though long-term documentation on the effects
of all pesticides is still unavailable, it is generally agreed that
fewer pesticides means less risk to surface water and groundwater,
and less hazard to wildlife and humans.
a Good Public Image. Recent public outcry about the use of growth
regulators and the presence of pesticide residues on produce has
heightened pesticide applicator awareness of the level of public
concern about chemicals. Consumers are pressuring food stores, which
in turn are pressuring producers, for produce that has been grown
with as few pesticides as possible. Growing food under integrated
pest management can help allay public concerns. Structural pest
control professionals can suggest improvements in housekeeping or
structural modifications as substitutes for chemical control.
Basic Steps of IPM
All of the components of an IPM approach can be grouped into four
major steps. The first step is taking preventative measures to prevent
pest buildup, the second is monitoring, the third step is assessing
the pest situation, and the fourth is determining the best action
Many IPM practices are used before a pest problem develops to prevent
or stall the buildup of pests.
Controls are those that disrupt the environment of the pest.
Plowing, crop rotation, removal of infected plant material, sanitation
of greenhouse equipment, and effective manure management are all
cultural practices that are employed to deprive pests of a comfortable
habitat. The management of urban and industrial pests has improved
when sanitation programs have been improved, pest harborages eliminated,
garbage pickup frequency increased, or when lights are installed
that do not attract insects.
Modifications - by preventing support timbers from soil contact,
damage from several different wood destroying pests can be avoided.
Wood absorbs moisture and is more susceptible to attack by carpenter
ants and termites when in direct contact with the soil.
Site Sanitation - removing tree stumps and lumber scraps from
construction sites, which are prime food sources for subterranean
termites, can prevent problems in the future.
Controls - using natural enemies (biological control agents)
to keep pests in check can be put into place before pest problems
increase. Examples of biological control agents are beneficial mites
that feed on mite pests in orchards, the milky spore disease that
kills harmful soil grubs, and Encarsia formosa , a wasp that parasitises
the greenhouse whitefly. Many biological control agents are commercially
Barriers such as netting over small fruits and screening in
greenhouses can prevent crop loss. Physical barriers are important
in termite, housefly, and rodent control.
of Pheromones (natural insect scents) has become widely used
in pest management. Sometimes a manufactured "copy" of
the pheromone that a female insect emits to attract mates can be
used to confuse males and prevent mating. This technique is used
in curbing damage from the grape berry moth.
Varieties are those that are less susceptible than other varieties
to certain insects and diseases. Use of resistant varieties often
means that growers do not need to apply as many pesticides as with
susceptible varieties. Potato growers control the golden nematode
by planting resistant cultivars. Apple growers can save up to eight
fungicide applications a year by growing Liberty and Freedom cultivars,
which resist diseases. Farmers growing alfalfa and wheat keep several
pests at bay by planting resistant varieties.
a pest manager has taken precautions to prevent pest infestations,
it is important to watch regularly for the appearance of insects,
weeds, diseases, and other pests.
Monitoring pests involves:
regular checking of the area;
early detection of pests;
proper identification of pests;
identification of the effects of biological control agents.
checking of a warehouse, bakery, restaurant, field, greenhouse,
golf course, or other areas and early detection of pests can function
together like an early warning system for pests, helping to avoid
or prevent a pest problem.
identification of pests is an extremely important prerequisite
to handling problems effectively. For example, the brown banded
and German cockroach can be easily confused with each other. Identification
is important because certain management practices may control only
one species and not the other. Correct identification enables you
to manage the real source of the problem and avoid merely treating
the symptoms (or controlling non-pests). Some pests cause similar
evidence. Unless the pest is identified, the control program may
have the wrong pest as its target. Identification enables you to
cure the pest problem and avoid injury to non-target organisms,
particularly if you:
use a pesticide that is specific to the pest;
control the pest effectively during the most susceptible stage of
consider the use of a non-chemical control.
the effects of biological control means knowing which creatures
are helpful and determining if pests have been affected by the beneficial
organisms. Sometimes pests are kept in check naturally, and at other
times the pest populations increase sharply.
is the process of determining the potential for pest populations
to reach an economic threshold or an intolerable level. Is a grower
likely to suffer financially? Is the pest likely to transmit a disease?
How can you tell? There are important differences between the assessment
of crop pests and urban pests.
Forecasting can help you determine if weather conditions
will be favorable for the development of diseases and insect pests.
For example, by "plugging in" values (such as the number
of rainy days and the temperatures for those days), growers can
predict outbreaks and spray only when conditions are favorable for
diseases. Growers who have kept good records of pests in previous
years can use these records to help determine if problems such as
weeds, insects, and diseases will reoccur. They might be able, for
example, to apply the most effective herbicides at the proper time
for early control of a problem.
or more specifically economic thresholds, are levels that mark the
highest point a pest population can reach without risk of economic
loss. Populations above these thresholds can reach the economic
injury level, where they cause enough damage for the grower to lose
money. At the economic injury level, the cost of control is equal
to the loss of yield or quality that would result otherwise.
for many pests and crops have been scientifically determined. The
advantage of thresholds is that if a pest has not reached threshold,
there is no risk of economic loss. Therefore, there is no need to
spray. Once the pest density (number of pests per unit area) has
reached threshold, action is justified. The costs of control will
be less than equal to the estimated losses that the pests would
cause if justify uncontrolled.
pest thresholds are often related to aesthetics rather than economic
considerations. Where health concerns or individual sensitivities
exist, the tolerable level of the pest may be zero. A zero threshold
forces action, even if only one pest has been detected. Zero thresholds
exist in hospitals, food production, warehousing, and retail facilities.
Once a pest has reached the economic threshold, or intolerable level,
action should be taken. In some situations, cultural controls can
destroy pests. One example is early harvesting to avoid pest problems,
which prevents crop loss and can sometimes be more economical than
a pesticide application.
pesticides are used as a control measure when no other strategies
will bring the pest population under the threshold. In fact, the
success of waiting until a pest reaches threshold usually hinges
on the availability of a pesticide that will bring the pest populations
summary, an IPM approach means that pest managers use multiple
tactics to prevent pest buildups, monitor pest populations, assess
the damage, and make informed management decisions, keeping in mind
that pesticides should be used judiciously.
pest management of weeds, like insect IPM, focuses on prevention,
beginning with identification of weed species and controlling the
population in the field.
use of weed control tools may be necessary in areas with high concentrations
of perennial weeds
weed establishment; eliminate individual survivors.
Employ sanitary procedures; prevent weed spread.
Clean equipment between sites or infestations.
Examine nursery plants, seed, and imported soil or media.
Screen irrigation water where weed seed contaminates surface water
transported in canals and rivers or stored in lakes or ponds.
Control weeds and seed sources around the field or site.
Establish national and state weed laws and noxious weed control
weeds using organisms which feed/infect/pest on the weed.
numerous components to minimize impact of weeds.
manageable fields (identify weeds and choose crop according to feasibility
of weed management strategies)
crops (disrupt weed life cycles or suppress weeds in competitive
crop followed by planting a noncompetitive crop).
competitive fallow crops in rotation to improve soils and crop management.
Consider legumes to supplement nitrogen requirements.
specific vegetation which remain uniform on soil surface; either
perennial or large-seeded crops can be planted through undisturbed
planting dates (plant for maximum growth or delay planting to control
first weed flush).
and time of fertilizer application, especially nitrogen is highly
decisive. Band or spot fertilizer beside plant or seed (reduces
availability to surface-germinating weeds). Time additional top
dressings for maximum crop growth or to minimize weeds.
crop canopy that shades weeds, suppresses weed germination.
crops or varieties that form canopy quickly.
plants in equidistant (triangular) arrangements and vary density
depending on crop management constraints or harvest requirements.
crops in space and time.
broadleaf and taller, narrow leaf crops.
plantings or harvest short-duration crops within longer maturing
Manage appropriate living mulch (grass or legume) between perennial
Improve pasture management by reseeding and/or fertilizing with
or without control measures to reduce weed infestation (weeds often
are a sign of poor management).
Apply mulch or geo-textiles
Thin plastic secured tightly over loose, moist soil for 10 to 12
weeks will suppress weed infestations and other pests during hot
season; data unavailable for Oregon.
debris turned under; annual weeds controlled; perennial weeds suppressed
if repeated every 10 to 14 days.
preparation/planting (plough down/mix debris). Use Plough/ rotovater/
discharrow (compacts wet soils).
for weed control. Sweeps, rolling cultivators, finger weeders, push
hoe, rotary hoes, etc.
pulling or hand hoeing.
or no-till systems (often requires specialized equipment).
Seedbed preparation/planting accomplished in one operation where
trash is separated, soil loosened, and crop planted.
control achieved with herbicides or sometimes cultivators, depending
(requires temporal difference between crop and weed growth).
management (drip placement or timing to reduce weed growth).
seedbed (planting after controlling first weed flush).
precision calculations, equipment, and application.
naturally tolerates herbicide (internal selectivity).
of herbicide prevents crop exposure.
of application to avoid susceptible stage of growth.
requires extensive testing.
includes acute, subacute, and chronic toxicity; teratology (fetus);
reproduction, mutagenicity (cancer); neurotoxicity (nerves); and
metabolism studies along with worker exposure.
fate includes breakdown, groundwater, ecological effects on plants
assessment considers normal application procedures and preharvest
intervals for assessing residues within food products.