Here is a compilation of essays on ‘Pest Management’ for class 11 and 12. Find paragraphs, long and short essays on ‘Pest Management’ especially written for school and college students.
Essay on Pest Management
- Essay on the Introduction to Pest Management
- Essay on the History of Pest Management
- Essay on IPM in Developed Countries
- Essay on IPM in Developing Countries
- Essay on the Future Outlook of Pest Management
Essay # 1. Introduction to Pest Management:
During ancient times, humans had to live with and tolerate the ravages of insects and other pests, but gradually learned to improve their condition through trial and error experiences. Over the centuries, farmers developed a number of mechanical, cultural, physical and biological control measures to minimize the damage caused by phytophagous insects.
Synthetic organic insecticides developed during the mid-twentieth century initially provided spectacular control of these insects and resulted in the abandonment of traditional pest control practices. This was followed by the development of high yielding varieties of important crop plants.
The intensive cultivation of these varieties, together with the application of increasing amounts of fertilizers and pesticides, has resulted in a manifold increase in productivity. However, this technology package has also resulted in aggravation of pest problems in agricultural crops.
The importance of achieving sustainable food production through the use of eco-friendly sustainable pest management techniques is being realized more and more in the recent past. Hence the increasing problems encountered with insecticide use resulted in the origin of the integrated pest management (IPM) concept.
Essay # 2. History of Pest Management:
Era of Traditional Approaches (Ancient-1938):
Cultural and mechanical practices like crop rotation, field sanitation, deep ploughing, flooding, collection and destruction of damaging insects/insect infested plants, etc. developed by farmers through experience were among the oldest methods developed by humans to minimize the damage caused by insect pests.
This was followed by the use of plant products from neem, chrysanthemum, rotenone, tobacco and several other lesser known plants in different parts of the world. The Chinese were probably the pioneers in the use of botanical pesticides as well as biological control methods for the management of insect pests of stored grains and field crops.
However, systematized work on many important tactics of pest control including the use of resistant varieties, biological control agents and botanical and inorganic insecticides was done in the USA from the end of the 18th to the end of the 19th century.
Remarkable success was achieved in the management of grape phylloxera caused by Daktulosphaira vitifoliae (Fitch) by grafting of European grape vine scions to resistant North American rootstocks during the 1880s. At around the same time, cottony cushion scale, Icerya purchasi Maskell which was causing havoc to the citrus industry in California, USA was successfully controlled by release of the Vedalia beetle, Rodolia cardinalis (Mulsant) imported from Australia.
A number of synthetic inorganic insecticides containing arsenic, mercury, tin and copper were also developed towards the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. With the development of these insecticides, the focus of research in entomology slowly shifted from ecological and cultural control to chemical control, even before the development of synthetic organic insecticides.
Era of Pesticides (1939-1975):
The synthetic inorganic insecticides were broad spectrum biocides and were highly toxic to all living organisms. These were followed in due course by the synthetic organic insecticides like alkyl thiocyanates, lethane, etc. The era of pesticides, however, began with the discovery of the insecticidal properties of DDT [2, 2-(p-chlorophenyl)-1, 1, 1-trichloroethane] by Paul Muller in 1939.
The impact of DDT on pest control is perhaps unmatched by any other synthetic substance and Muller was awarded Nobel Prize for this work in 1948. DDT was soon followed by a number of other insecticides like HCH, chlordane, aldrin, dieldrin, heptachlor (organochlorine group); parathion, toxaphene, schradan, EPN (organophosphorus group) and allethrin (synthetic pyrethroid) during the 1950s and a large number of other popularly used organophosphates and carbamates in the ensuing decade.
Due to their efficacy, convenience, flexibility and economy, these pesticides played a major role in increasing crop production. The success of high yielding varieties of wheat and rice that ushered in the ‘green revolution’ was partially due to the protection umbrella of pesticides.
The spectacular success of these pesticides masked their limitations. The intensive and extensive use, misuse and abuse of pesticides during the ensuing decades caused widespread damage to the environment. In addition, insect pest problems in some crops increased following the continuous application of pesticides.
This, in turn, further increased the consumption of pesticides resulting in the phenomenon of the pesticide treadmill. The combined impact of all these problems together with the rising cost of pesticides provided the necessary feedback for limiting the use of chemical control strategy and led to the development of the IPM concept.
Era of IPM (1976 Onwards):
Although many IPM programmes were initiated in late 1960s and early 1970s in several parts of the world, it was only in late 1970s that IPM gained momentum. The first major IPM project in USA, commonly called the Huffaker Project, spanned 1972-78 and covered six crops, i.e. alfalfa, citrus, cotton, pines, pome and stone fruits, and soybean.
This was followed by another large scale IPM project called CIPM, the Consortium for Integrated Pest Management (1979-85), which focused on alfalfa, apple, cotton and soybean. The national IPM programmes were launched in late 1980s and early 1990s in several developing countries. The most outstanding success has been the FAO- IPM programme for rice in Southeast Asia.
Several other programmes were launched to promote IPM, which included Global IPM Facility, CGIAR SP-IPM, Integrated Pest Management Working Group (IPMWG), IPMnet, USAID IPM Collaborative Research Support Programme (CRSP), IPM Europe, Africa IPM Forum, etc. The details of these programmes are given under ‘Pest Management Organizations’.
Essay # 3. IPM in Developed Countries:
Many developed countries took a lead in developing IPM systems in major agricultural crops and achieved varying levels of success. The pioneering efforts were made in USA for the development and implementation of IPM in major agricultural crops.
IPM in Apple Orchards:
One of the earliest and classical examples of IPM in fruit trees is the control of apple pests in Nova Scotia, Canada. Ecological studies were initiated in 1943 to determine the long-term influence of spray chemicals on the fauna of apple orchards. Main emphasis was laid on field projects, and laboratory and insectary studies when possible.
Preliminary tests with insecticides on specific pests and beneficial species were carried out in small plots and extended to whole orchards when the initial results justified it. Within two years, it was demonstrated that the use of sulphur as fungicide was the main factor causing population increase of oystershell scale, Lepidosaphes ulmi (Linnaeus). As a result of elimination of sulphur from the spray programme, the pest was reduced to minor importance.
Studies also indicated that many spray chemicals, particularly DDT and sulphur were detrimental to some important predators of the European red mite, Panonychus ulmi (Koch). The long-term studies have provided a basis that makes it possible to select spray programmes that allow natural control of phytophagous mites and, at the same time, provide adequate chemical control of injurious insects and diseases.
Sulphur also proved detrimental to predaceous thrips, Haplothrips faurei Hood and Leptothrips mali (Fitch), both active predators of the codling moth, Cydia pomonella (Linnaeus). The spray schedule was changed from an intensive to a modified programme; in some cases no insecticides were used and in others only one or two applications were made.
As a reduction of number of insecticidal sprays, codling moth populations decreased and after about 4 years on this programme, many of the orchards produced apples with less than 10 per cent total insect damage to the fruit. The integration of biological and chemical control programmes solved all the problems concerned with the control of apple orchard pests in Nova Scotia.
The first major IPM project in the USA, commonly called the Huffaker Project, spanned 1972- 1978 and covered six crops, viz. alfalfa, citrus, cotton, pines, pome and stone fruits, and soybean.
The crops were selected on the basis of three criteria, i.e.:
(i) Current level of insecticide use (very high in cotton and citrus, and very low in soybean).
(ii) Potential for successful biological control (alfalfa, citrus, pome and stone fruits).
(iii) Representation of a non-agricultural system (pines).
An anticipated outcome of the programme was 40-45 per cent reduction in the use of more environmentally polluting insecticides within a 5 year period and 70-80 per cent in 10 years. Advances were made in many aspects implementing improved IPM strategies for all systems. The project improved integrated insect control programmes that lessen the dependence on chemical insecticides especially on cotton and apples.
Consortium for IPM:
After the success of the Huffaker Project, a group of scientists under the leadership of P.L. Adkisson secured funding for the second large scale IPM project in the United States, called the Consortium for Integrated Pest Management (CIPM) (1979-1985). The project focused on four major crops, viz. alfalfa, apple, cotton and soybean. It was claimed that the average adoption of IPM for four crops was 66 per cent over 5-76 million ha.
The main indicators of adoption were the use of economic thresholds and economic injury levels for spray decisions, use of selective pesticides or application of lower dosages of broad spectrum insecticides. A significant achievement of the programme was the genuine attempt to integrate weed science and plant pathology, and the emphasis on economic assessment of IPM adoption.
National IPM Initiative:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) launched National IPM Initiative in 1993, the goal of which was to implement IPM practices on 75 per cent of the nation’s crop area by 2000. To measure the level of adoption, USDA put forth the PAMS concept, the acronym for prevention, avoidance, monitoring and suppression. To qualify as an IPM practitioner, a farmer was required to utilize at least three of the four PAMS components.
It has been estimated that some level of IPM has been implemented on about 70 per cent of the US crop acreage. The highest percentage of cropland under IPM was in case of cotton (86) and vegetables (86), followed by soybean (78), maize (76), barley (71), wheat (65), other crops and pasture (63), fruits and nuts (62), and lucrene hay (40).
Integrated Fruit Production System:
The pome fruit growers in Australia are funding a national system for integrated fruit production (IFP). This system incorporates whole-farm planning, site-specific selection of scion/rootstock combinations, IPM, irrigation and nutrition, crop management, quality assurance, food safety and occupational health and safety. IFP takes a broad approach to pest management decision making by encouraging integration and understanding of the interactions occurring in the orchard and their impacts on crop quality.
On the basis of a survey conducted in all production areas, it has been found that slightly more growers selected pesticides on the basis of compatibility with predators (86%) than efficacy against the target pest (84%), suggesting that they are prepared to balance pest control with the value of maintaining a predator population. Nearly all (92%) based spraying decisions on the basis of monitoring. Overall, 45 per cent had their own staff trained to monitor pest populations, while 57 per cent used a consultant for their pest management.
The search for apple IPM system in New Zealand gained momentum in the 1980s and 1990s with a focus to minimize environmental and human health impact. Solutions that have been adopted for individual pests include a decision support model for European red mite, biological control, chemical control and pheromone traps to reduce insecticide applications against leafrollers.
Recently, the introduction of insect growth regulators for leafroller and codling moth has enabled the development of selective pest management and increased the focus on integrating natural enemies within the apple IPM programme. This development has been an integral part of the apple industry’s IFP programme that requires pest monitoring and justification of all pesticide use, backed up by auditing and certification systems.
There have been very significant reductions in the use of broad-spectrum insecticides after several years of development and implementation of IFP. For example, from 1997 to 2000, there was a 72 per cent reduction in organophospate use in New Zealand apple orchards, with a 90 per cent reduction in the use of azinophos methyl. By 2000-01 seasons, this was equivalent to an overall 90 per cent reduction in organophosphate use, wide application of the IFP programme by growers occurring in the 2001 season.
IPM in Greenhouses:
The greenhouse crops are grown over an area of 300,000 ha worldwide. Vegetables are produced in two-third of these greenhouses and ornamentals in one-third. Although this represents a tiny fraction (0.02%) of the 1.5 billion ha under crops worldwide, greenhouses offer the opportunity to grow larger quantities of high-quality crops on a very small area. For example, in the Netherlands 30 per cent (by value) of agricultural output is produced in greenhouses that occupy only 0.5 per cent of the total agricultural land.
IPM is used on a large scale in all the main vegetable crops grown in greenhouses in Europe. In the Netherlands, for example, more than 90 per cent of all tomatoes, cucumbers and sweet peppers are produced under IPM. Worldwide 5 per cent of the greenhouse area is under IPM and there is a potential for increase to about 20 per cent of the area in the next decade.
A good example of an IPM programme is the one used for tomato in Europe. It involves more than 10 natural enemies and several other methods like host plant resistance, climate control and cultural control. When tomatoes are grown in soil, soil sterilization by steaming is used shortly before planting the main crop to eliminate the soil-borne diseases such as tomato mosaic virus (TMV), Fusarium and Verticillium, and insect pests such as tomato moth, Lacanobia oleracea (Linnaeus) and three species of leaf-miners, Liriomyza spp. Therefore, only foliage pests and Botrytis cinerea Pers. ex. Nocca. & Balb. require direct control measures.
Essay # 4. IPM in Developing Countries:
The developing countries are characterized by tropical and sub-tropical climates.
The integrated pest management strategy appears to be more feasible in these regions because of the following factors:
i. Climate and physical environment in tropical and sub-tropical areas generally allow populations of both pests and natural enemies to proliferate throughout the year. Regulation of numbers by natural biotic mechanisms thus can function optimally and in relative abundance.
ii. Agro-ecosystems, which have not yet been subjected to rigorous economic development generally have been only little disturbed by pesticide applications. They offer a relatively sound base for the development of an IPM system and farmers do not have to be re-educated.
iii. If the agricultural production is destined for home consumption, farmers usually pay little attention to light infestation and they would hardly spray for cosmetic reasons. However, transformation to market-oriented production leads to excessive use of pesticides, particularly on vegetables, fruits and flowers.
iv. Where new areas are opened up for agricultural production, as may be the case in sparsely inhabited parts of Africa, Asia and South America, there would be an opportunity to introduce IPM from the beginning and to ban unwanted chemical control practices.
Growing concern among the general public for environmental issues, particularly pesticide misuse, has prompted many developing countries to formally and explicitly advocate the use of IPM as an environmentally friendly form of crop protection. For example, the Governments of India and Malaysia adopted IPM as official policy in 1985 by Ministerial Declaration.
Similarly, Governments of Indonesia and Philippines promulgated Presidential Decree/Declaration to adopt IPM as official policy. China introduced the Green Certificate programme and banned highly toxic pesticides on vegetable crops. Biological control is a national priority for Cuba; the new policy is intended to make IPM biointensive, with 80 per cent of pests managed through biological control.
Iran formed the High Council of Policy and Planning for Reduction of Agricultural Pesticides. Nepal and Sri Lanka have adopted national IPM policies. Under such conditions, the cases for funding IPM programmes will be heard more sympathetically and the agencies empowered by government to allocate resources will give proper attention to the needs of IPM..
The philosophy of IPM did not percolate down to the farmers for quite a long time after its presentation and prescription for solving pest problems in modern agriculture. It was also suggested that the illiterate farmers of the developing countries were unable to grasp the concept of IPM and, therefore, could not implement it.
However, the pessimists have been proven wrong and the same farmers have now demonstrated that they are quite capable of understanding the intricacies of IPM. The success of Farmer Field Schools (FFSs) in the implementation of IPM in many Asian countries proves that farmers are quite responsive to appropriate technologies which give due weightage to their traditional wisdom, local conditions and socioeconomic constraints.
Participatory IPM led by farmers is now practised in over 50,000 communities found mostly in Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Bangladesh, China, Sri Lanka, India, Cambodia, Laos, Republic of Korea, Ghana, Kenya, Cote d’lvoire, Burkina Faso, Mali, Egypt, Sudan, Honduras, Nicaragua, Senegal and Zimbabwe.
This is over 2 per cent of all rural villages in all developing countries. There are over 30,000 competent IPM trainers any of whom can facilitate a Farmer’s Field School through an entire crop season, and then the resulting farmers’ IPM group through the remainder of their year-round production agro-ecosystem.
Farmers practicing IPM have increased yields per hectare from 1 to over 10 per cent, reduced pesticide use by 30 to over 95 per cent (and often eliminating insecticide use) and substantially lowered occupational health risks. Most of the communities practicing IPM grow rice, but IPM is also practiced by farmers of maize, soybean and other field beans, cabbage, tomato, groundnut, coconut, cacao, coffee, peppers, sweet potato, cotton, mango and cucumber.
The Government of India adopted IPM as the official guiding principle of plant protection strategies in 1985. The IPM programme has been strengthened in India since 1994 and 12931 Farmers’ Field Schools have been conducted in rice, cotton, vegetables, pulses and oilseeds, where 54,349 Agriculture/Horticulture Extension Officers and 3,88,863 farmers have been trained up to March 2010 (Plate 16.1). The yield increase in rice and cotton in IPM-areas, varied from 7 to 40 per cent and 23 to 27 per cent respectively, as compared to non-IPM areas.
There was a reduction in pesticide consumption to the tune of 50-100 per cent and 30-50 per cent in rice and cotton, respectively, in IPM-areas. The use of Bt-based and neem-based pesticides increased from 123 metric tonnes during 1994-95 to 1262 metric tonnes during 2009-10. Overall consumption of chemical pesticides in the country decreased from 75033 metric tonnes (technical grade) during 1990-91 to 41822 metric tonnes during 2009-10.
Essay # 5. Future Outlook of Pest Management:
The green revolution, which addressed the food security crisis of the 1960s and 1970s, involved scientific innovation and active promotion of high-yielding varieties that could transform fertilizer inputs into grain production, but it created many ecological problems. The future IPM programmes should be so designed that they minimise the risks associated with the green revolution technology and maximise the benefits of the gene technology.
The pest management system should blend the traditional ecological principles and frontier technologies. This implies that the IPM programmes should represent a sustainable approach to manage pests combining biological, chemical, cultural and biotechnological tools to ensure favourable economic, ecological and sociological consequences.
For the evergreen revolution to succeed in feeding the world through sustainable cropping systems, a concerted and integrated effort on the part of scientists, farmers and policy makers will be required to create awareness and a political and regulatory environment in which sustainable technologies like IPM are embraced to meet the food and fibre needs of the 21st century.