From Aarhus University:

Weeds, diseases and animal pests can make life miserable for agricultural crops and curtail their yield. Pesticides are one tool that farmers can use to control plant pests and protect agricultural crops. However, sustainable agriculture calls for a wider range of tools to keep the use of pesticides to an optimal minimum.

Integrated pest management is the solution, but getting farmers to implement integrated pest management faces many challenges. A group of European scientists, including from the Department of Agroecology at Aarhus University, has focused on this issue and they suggest that networking is a powerful approach to solving the problem.

Integrated pest management faces a wide range of challenges. Climate change, development of pesticide resistance, and development of virulence that matches host resistance are external factors that must constantly be taken into account.

A trend towards decreasing budget allocations for research in integrated pest management, increasing scarcity of expertise, lack of knowledge transfer from research to practice, communication gaps, and lack of research that encompasses many disciplines together are internal hurdles that stand in the way of spreading integrated pest management (IPM). There is hope, though.

– There is increasing awareness that transnational networking is one means to overcome such challenges and to address common priorities in agriculture, the scientists state in an article published in the scientific journal Crop Protection.

Three ways to improve networking

Many stakeholders are involved in crop protection, including farmers, advisors, researchers, policy makers and commercial companies.

– Crop protection needs to be coordinated through effective communications and dynamic collaboration to make any IPM strategy successful, the scientists say.

There is already a wide variety of networking activities in the field of IPM. However, networking in IPM can be boosted and its impact can be widely increased. The scientists describe three specific recommendations based on …

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