Effective pest control is integral to the success of greenhouse crops. Few things wreak havoc on greenhouse crops as severely as uncontrollable infestation. In the past, farmers were forced to rely on rigid pesticide schedules to stay ahead of potential issues. Thankfully, the landscape of pest control is transforming.
Innovations in the agricultural world are marrying systems like integrated pest management with software that makes managing your greenhouse more sustainable and intuitive.
We’re going to explore what integrated pest management is and how customizable greenhouse software will support more sustainable pest control techniques.
Rethinking Pest Control: What is Integrated Pest Management?
- Decide When to Act
A key part of successfully implementing IPM techniques centers around knowledge. For example, you wouldn’t schedule a pesticide treatment if you saw an influx of earthworms.
Familiarize yourself with both harmful and beneficial insect identification. Learn the difference between pest versus environmental damage. Knowing these details will help you to decide when it’s time to take action and which actions to take.
- Know Your Grow
- Take Proper Precautions
Humans have been refining agricultural practices for over 12,000 years. This means that there are millennia worth of prevention techniques. Consider preventative actions like crop rotation, or choosing particularly hardy crop varieties. Staying on top of your soil health is also an excellent way to prevent issues down the line.
Most practitioners of IPM control infestations by stopping them before they even begin. Preventative measures like the ones listed above are environmentally sound and may eliminate the need for pesticides altogether.
Each of these techniques will help prevent rampant pest infestations while keeping your greenhouse ecologically sound.
The final step of implementing IPM is to take action. Integrated pest control advocates a plan that begins with the least environmentally impactful action. You may want to introduce a beneficial insect like ladybugs for a growing aphid infestation. More delicate issues like root rot might require spot treatment of antifungals.
As the techniques above indicate, the idea behind integrated pest control is being able to identify issues as they arise and use minimal input to manage environmental and pest control.
These steps can seem overwhelming for greenhouse management, regardless of the size of your grow. The integration of greenhouse management software with integrated pest control techniques makes practicing IPM possible for any greenhouse operation.
How Greenhouse Management Software Compliments IPM
At its most basic level, greenhouse management software helps you track data related to your crops. From inventory to plant health, all aspects of your grow are documented and easily accessible.
All of the IPM steps listed above have one core component in common, observation. Customizable software helps to document your observations in a way that makes it easy to implement action plans. We’re going to take a look at how greenhouse management software adds precision and organization to IPM techniques.
Keeping track of your crop inventory is not simply a numbers game. Greenhouse management software makes it possible to track crops according to age, growth, health, and any other metric imaginable.
Do you need to collect data on a batch of struggling seedlings? Or maybe compare rates of growth from one crop cycle to the next? The right software streamlines these steps so that you always know what’s happening in your greenhouse.
Good inventory management data helps you decide when a pest annoyance crosses the line into a real problem. Detailed inventory data from your greenhouse adds a new level of precision to all four steps of IPM.
Maintaining Plant and Soil Health
Whether you are recording visual observations or lab-tested samples, the right software tracks your data and eliminates guesswork about your growing conditions. The second IPM technique above outlines the importance of precise knowledge about your greenhouse ecosystem, and the third requires preventative measures.
Greenhouse management software aligns with these techniques because of its ability to track even the most minute details. Facts like mineral content in your soil, or records of percentage of moisture in the air are easily accessible.
Referring to this quantifiable data builds knowledge about your grow. That knowledge will help you prevent potential pests and environmental issues before they get out of hand.
Successful Crop Cycling
One of the most useful preventative measures outlined in IPM is crop cycling. Choosing the right crops to rotate is a sustainable way to eliminate unnecessary inputs. Crop cycling has also been shown to promote soil health and disrupt growing pest populations.
Data collection on crop cycles makes it possible to track how each new crop influences soil health, pest populations, and crop output.
Software that tracks the success of crop rotation cycles provides you with the necessary insights that boost crop production and keeps pests under control.
The reality of managing an agricultural operation is complex. There always seems to be a variety of coinciding factors that muddy the ability to pinpoint exactly what works. Ask ten farmers how to eliminate an aphid infestation and you’ll end up with 20 different answers.
One of the most valuable aspects of integrated pest management software is that you no longer need to guess which actions are the most effective. The information about your grow gathered over time will tell you which inputs and modifications worked best to maximize your crop production.
Documented proof of what works in your greenhouse ecosystem saves valuable time and resources. `
Perfecting Your Greenhouse Grow With Integrated Pest Management Software:
The constant innovations we see in the agricultural realm are inspiring and revolutionary. Its become undeniable that the way we manage our food and crop production is changing rapidly. But we must keep in mind the sustainability of well-established practices like integrated pest management.
IPM works, its been proven for decades and even the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization promotes IPM techniques for ecologically sound agriculture around the world.
The combination of greenhouse management software and the tenants of IPM strikes the perfect balance. Working together, the software becomes a tool that streamlines proven agricultural methods.
At RedBud Software, our goal is to create a customizable program that promotes intuitive and sustainable greenhouse management. We believe that technological advances in agriculture don’t have to be out of reach for the average person. The combination of proven techniques and helpful software will revolutionize the productivity of any sized grow.
The power of our software’s data collection capabilities with systems like IPM provides you with quantifiable data. To put it plainly, we aim to both simplify and maximize your operation. We’ll even provide you with a free demo to show you exactly what our software is capable of.