MyFloraDNA

Integrated pest management on cannabis: Is that worth it?

The utilization of pesticides for crops sometimes can be so exhausting. Not only the cost one’s need to spend on the product but also the trained labor and time-consuming. Unfortunately, there’s no way you can do when your farm or greenhouse operation has been threatened by a herd of insects coming from nowhere. But, is that true?

According to the significant impact of insects which are considered to be pests, scientists from the University of California tried to analyse factors that may be related to the hospitable condition for diseases, pests or even undesired weeds. They started to deduce that most pathogens and other destructive organisms can be controlled by implementing good crop management practices, followed by regular monitoring and natural resources optimization.

With cannabis being an agricultural crop, the solution to defence against the pest problem is implementing a well IPM plan. However, with the acceleration of technology, it becomes more effective to use both pieces of knowledge to mitigate crop loss and building a sustainable ecosystem for long-term mutual.

HOW DOES IPM WORKS?

IPM can be understood as a process based on growers’ observation and existing condition for managing the pest in an effective and environmentally sound way that include six elements:

Prevention

It aimed to create a preliminary assessment on every component listed before the cultivation starts. Two strategies are commonly used are the mother plant analysis and general prevention. Mother plant analysis is essential since they are usually kept longer than all plants in production and has been utilized several times. The accumulation of pathogens in the tissue cells can be transmitted through clones or cuttings.

General prevention can also be done through resistance variety selection, removal of susceptible plants, airflow management, insect netting application (for indoor cultivation), or inspecting all plant materials carriage from outside of the operation.

Identification

Pests should be identified correctly. Knowing their behaviour and life cycle can help growers in some decisions; when to take action, what techniques to reduce the insect’s population and investigating any failure inside the facility that causing the entry of insects.

Monitoring

After implementing the two steps above, regular monitoring to trace pest populations and damage caused by their infections should be recorded. Knowing the pest’s signs earlier will help growers to predict how long they have been infecting their plants, estimate the dominant population, and the presence of their natural enemy.

Action Thresholds

These thresholds are set by determining how much damage is acceptable and when the control is necessary. Each pest needs a different type of control and method. Since there is no official threshold established to determine the contamination limit for the final product, it has resulted in low pest tolerances. Every grower has to set their proper threshold based on the pest, crop and specific conditions to make a higher accuracy to decide the next step.

Management options

Management options help growers to combine cultural, physical, biological and chemical controls. Cultural includes variety selection, pruning and sanitation. Physical includes using a trap, barrier or manual picking. The biological method is done by using organisms such as natural enemies, beneficial insects or nematodes. While chemical control includes the use of registered pesticides available in the synthetic form or naturally-derived pesticides, as well as biopesticides.

Evaluation

Conducting a follow-up monitoring to assess how was the success rate of the applied method. Trace and record what was worked and was not to set the next step of pest maintenance.

COMBINING IPM AND MODERN GENETICS SERVICE

Based on what was mentioned above, we can see that the combination of classical and modern techniques can be added to optimize the IPM practices.

MyFloraDNA as a modern genetic company tries to provide a high-standard testing service for the prevention and evaluation stage. There are several services that can be applied, the “Full Genome Sequencing Analysis” can help you analyse your mother plant whether they are resistant or not to a specific type of pathogens, the sooner this method is conducted, the sooner the grower can avoid the misselection. If you begin your operation with seedlings, you can also identify your plants through our “Pest Resistance Analysis” service. Right after germination occurred, you can send the sample of your plant’s cotyledon with the kit from us and send it back to our laboratory. Within three days you can have your result and start to remove any undesired plant.

We can also identify the cannabinoids content in your plant. Since you get this result, it will help you to monitor what kind of plant contains a high level of specific cannabinoids and at the same time susceptible to pests infection, and record any difference with other plants.

IPM is a good practice to prepare the best for your operation. However, it requires you to dedicate more time to monitor the progress and predict what will happen next. Moreover, the evaluation must be maintained at a regular time to avoid any possible missed signs.

Reach us for more information about our service and how can we collaborate with you.

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