Let's talk about the ecological control of insect pests in agro-ecosystems.

in #agriculture3 months ago (edited)
Dear readers, in previous installments we have described some aspects about the control of insect pests and have even shared some results of some diagnoses made in some areas destined to coffee planting, all this, with the intention of publicizing the management that is implemented in agro ecosystems to be able to keep out some species of insects that can be harmful to the productive yield of crops.

In this same order of ideas, diagnostics have been implemented again in some sectors of the southern zone of Lake Maracaibo and Valle del Mocoties of the state of Mérida Venezuela, information collected by students of the National Experimental University South of the Lake, where it has been concluded after processing the information collected that some producers in these areas base pest management with agroecological methods, considering them easy to apply, in addition to helping to reduce costs, what could become healthy and sustainable plantations.

Some researchers such as Nicholls (2010), point out that problems with insect pests can be controlled through a restructuring of agricultural systems, designing diversified systems that allow the natural regulation of insect pests, of course to establish them must have knowledge about insect populations that can control others.

On the other hand, Cañedo, Alfaro, and Kroschel, J. (2011), indicated that among the pest insect controls was the chemical with synthetic pesticides that have become one of the most common means to control pest insects and weeds. However, these products, which at one time offered the possibility of solving problems created by pests, have brought a number of dangers and risks (poisoning, soil and water contamination) due to their indiscriminate use.

Based on the aforementioned, a bibliographic review of different academic and scientific articles was carried out to determine which would be the most used agroecological methods and the following information was obtained:

  • In 1998, Alonso stated that polyculture is a method that can be implemented because it can enrich the ecosystem with a diversity of insect species and can strengthen natural control, in addition to this, he points out that good economic gains can also be obtained and the surface is used to the maximum since two or more crops are associated.

  • For their part, Altieri and Nicholls (2002), mentioned that integrated pest management can be implemented, which as its name implies consists of the application of different methods progressively in the best way and at the right time this will also avoid resistance to certain substances when only pesticides are applied.

  • The aforementioned authors indicated in the years 2009 and 2010, that crop rotation can also be implemented, with which the nutrients in the soil are used in a balanced way, in addition, the cycle of certain pests can be interrupted when they establish crops with which they have no affinity. They also talk about keeping ecosystems free of pollutants in order to sustainably maintain biodiversity in agro-ecosystems.

Dear readers, this bibliographic review on the ecological management of insect pests, allows us to affirm that these alternatives are efficient, achieving the objective for which they are implemented without having to alter the natural components of the ecosystems destined to the planting of crops. Biological control can also be included with the use of entomopathogenic fungi and bacteria that using them preventively can be very effective and economical. Without a doubt, sustainability is achieved by maintaining an economic, environmental and social balance, which is why these alternatives are currently the ecological technologies we need.

Bibliographic references
  • Alonso, A. (1998). "Polyculture in theory and in practice". Organic Agriculture Magazine Year 4 No 2. 6–11.

  • Altieri, M. and Nicholls, C. (2002). “A rapid agroecological method for the assessment of the sustainability of coffee plantations". Journal Integrated Pest Management and Agroecology Nº 64. Costa Rica.

  • Altieri, M. and Nicholls, C. (2009). "Biodiversity and pest management in agroecosystems". Editorial Icaria, s.a. Verdaguer, 1, Capellades (Barcelona) Spain.

  • Cañedo, V; Alfaro, A and Kroschel, J. (2011). "Integrated management of insect pests in vegetables”. Revista Centro Internacional de la Papa (CIP), 48p. Lima, Peru.

  • Nicholls, C. (2010). "Agroecological contributions to renew the foundations of pest management". Revista Agroecología 5: 7-22. University of California, Berkeley, 217 Mulford Hall -3114 Berkeley, California. USE.


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I believe that we should use diversity as means to control insect pests instead of chemicals, even if the latter is tempting and probably easier to implement. The price to pay is however very often very large. Fortunately, more and more will think like this.

Have a great week!

Hello dear friend @lemouth, we all hope that the aforementioned alternatives will begin to become more widespread, although it is already a great advance that some producers are implementing some of these practices in different crops. Pesticides are unsustainable if they are applied excessively, due to their high costs and the imbalance they cause in ecosystems.

So long, have a great week.


Pesticides are unsustainable if they are applied excessively, due to their high costs and the imbalance they cause in ecosystems.

They also lead to issues on our (i.e. human's) health. All together, this should provide sufficient motivation to stop using them at all (especially as alternatives now exist).

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