NovaChem > Industry News > 2021 > The making of an IPM advocate – ‘so practical & logical’

The making of an IPM advocate – ‘so practical & logical’


Published on 03/02/2021


  1.  never in a million yearsthought I’d be interested in this,”says FMC New Zealand’s south-ern area business manager andresident integrated pest man-agement (IPM) enthusiast.“But it’s so practical and logical,it’s very easy to advocate for it.“Once you understand it, it be-comes quite obvious that it canbe done. What surprised me atthe start was the simplicity of itall!”He’s talking about helping oper-ationalise IPM across large areasof forage brassicas over the pastfew years, adopting techniquesthat were commonplace in hor-ticulture at the time but not soprevalent on farmThe turning point came after theNZ launch of Exirel® insecticidein 2014.“We knew we had a very IPMfriendly product, and we alsocould see the industry neededto upskill to get the best out of itas a forage brassica product. Sothat’s when we started bringingoverseas experts into NZ to im-prove our knowledge, and alsostarted to make that push intotraining.”He includes himself in the needto upskill – from today’s per-spective he says in hindsight hisknowledge of IPM was ‘minimal’six years ago, but with exposureto overseas expertise, as wellas to scientific studies on Exirelhere with Plant & Food Research,that changed.As has the market.“Five to six years ago, reps andfarmers would walk into thecrop, see damage, and spray.We’re now walking into the cropweeks earlier, looking for eggsinstead of damage, and watch-ing to see how populations buildup before deciding what to do inthe way of control.”A key understanding with ap-plication of IPM principles to alarge crop like forage brassicasis that the beneficial insects arealready present, he says.“It’s not something we have to‘add’. If you think back to whenthe parasitoid wasps for cloverroot weevil were introducedto NZ, they had to be releasedon-farm to get established. Wedon’t have to do anything likethat.”What is required is observationand identification, especially atthis time of the season.The larvae of two predator in-sects in particular are well worthknowing, he says – hoverfly, andbrown lacewing. Both have abig appetite for common pestslike aphids, with hoverfly larvaehaving the biggest impact, fol-lowed by lacewing larvae, thenladybirds.Farmers and field reps are alsoencouraged to know their para-sitic wasps, of which there arefive species known to controlpests such as aphids, leaf miner,white butterfly and diamondback moth.“A lot of times we get askedto come have a look, becausethere’s a bug in the crop. Oftenit’s a beneficial, and that’s wherethe growth in IPM has come from– in many cases farmers didn’trealise how many beneficialswere around, or what they did.”He stresses that IPM is notabout not using insecticides, butrather using them in the mostappropriate way, minimisingthe impact on beneficials andmaximising the impact on targetspecies.And the benefits range from theimmediate to the systemic, forboth farmers and those helpingthem with input decisions.“The primary goal is to have aplan for the crop from the timethe seed is planted right throughto the time it’s grazed. Whattypically comes out of this is areduction in the overall numberof sprays, with no change to cropyield, and so a lower cost of pro-duction.”In this context, Exirel has an ex-cellent fit.“But what we’ve also found isthat when people learn the prin-ciples of IPM, they not only endup with a better understandingof pests and beneficials, theyalso have a greater understand-ing of all the insecticides and dif-ferent chemistries that are usedin the crop.“That’s because they need toknow their active ingredients,how they all work, what their re-siduals are and how they can beused alongside Exirel as part ofa programme. So as well as un-derstanding and confidence inIPM systems, they end up with areally good working knowledgeof insecticides in general.”McKay is pleased to see IPM be-coming much more mainstreamin forage brassicas than it oncewas.“It’s good, because there’s alot of change going on out there.And this fits right in with some ofthose changes.”For more detail contact your lo-cal FMC NZ area business man-ager.PRODUCT UPDATEThe making of anIPM advocate – ‘sopractical & logical’IF YOU’D TOLD STAN MCKAY 10 YEARS AGO HE WOULDTODAY HAVE A DEEP AND ABIDING INTEREST INHOVERFLIES, LACEWINGS AND SEVERAL DIFFERENT SPECIESOF PARASITIC WASP, HE WOULD HAVE LOOKED AT YOUSIDEWAYS.Stan McKay (centre), spreading the word on IPM.An adult hoverfly, one of several beneficialinsects in forage brassica crops.
     
  1 / 1
 
  1. I never in a million yearsthought I’d be interested in this,”says FMC New Zealand’s south-ern area business manager andresident integrated pest man-agement (IPM) enthusiast.“But it’s so practical and logical,it’s very easy to advocate for it.“Once you understand it, it be-comes quite obvious that it canbe done. What surprised me atthe start was the simplicity of itall!”He’s talking about helping oper-ationalise IPM across large areasof forage brassicas over the pastfew years, adopting techniquesthat were commonplace in hor-ticulture at the time but not soprevalent on farmThe turning point came after theNZ launch of Exirel® insecticidein 2014.“We knew we had a very IPMfriendly product, and we alsocould see the industry neededto upskill to get the best out of itas a forage brassica product. Sothat’s when we started bringingoverseas experts into NZ to im-prove our knowledge, and alsostarted to make that push intotraining.”He includes himself in the needto upskill – from today’s per-spective he says in hindsight hisknowledge of IPM was ‘minimal’six years ago, but with exposureto overseas expertise, as wellas to scientific studies on Exirelhere with Plant & Food Research,that changed.As has the market.“Five to six years ago, reps andfarmers would walk into thecrop, see damage, and spray.We’re now walking into the cropweeks earlier, looking for eggsinstead of damage, and watch-ing to see how populations buildup before deciding what to do inthe way of control.”A key understanding with ap-plication of IPM principles to alarge crop like forage brassicasis that the beneficial insects arealready present, he says.“It’s not something we have to‘add’. If you think back to whenthe parasitoid wasps for cloverroot weevil were introducedto NZ, they had to be releasedon-farm to get established. Wedon’t have to do anything likethat.”What is required is observationand identification, especially atthis time of the season.The larvae of two predator in-sects in particular are well worthknowing, he says – hoverfly, andbrown lacewing. Both have abig appetite for common pestslike aphids, with hoverfly larvaehaving the biggest impact, fol-lowed by lacewing larvae, thenladybirds.Farmers and field reps are alsoencouraged to know their para-sitic wasps, of which there arefive species known to controlpests such as aphids, leaf miner,white butterfly and diamondback moth.“A lot of times we get askedto come have a look, becausethere’s a bug in the crop. Oftenit’s a beneficial, and that’s wherethe growth in IPM has come from– in many cases farmers didn’trealise how many beneficialswere around, or what they did.”He stresses that IPM is notabout not using insecticides, butrather using them in the mostappropriate way, minimisingthe impact on beneficials andmaximising the impact on targetspecies.And the benefits range from theimmediate to the systemic, forboth farmers and those helpingthem with input decisions.“The primary goal is to have aplan for the crop from the timethe seed is planted right throughto the time it’s grazed. Whattypically comes out of this is areduction in the overall numberof sprays, with no change to cropyield, and so a lower cost of pro-duction.”In this context, Exirel has an ex-cellent fit.“But what we’ve also found isthat when people learn the prin-ciples of IPM, they not only endup with a better understandingof pests and beneficials, theyalso have a greater understand-ing of all the insecticides and dif-ferent chemistries that are usedin the crop.“That’s because they need toknow their active ingredients,how they all work, what their re-siduals are and how they can beused alongside Exirel as part ofa programme. So as well as un-derstanding and confidence inIPM systems, they end up with areally good working knowledgeof insecticides in general.”McKay is pleased to see IPM be-coming much more mainstreamin forage brassicas than it oncewas.“It’s good, because there’s alot of change going on out there.And this fits right in with some ofthose changes.”For more detail contact your lo-cal FMC NZ area business man-ager.PRODUCT UPDATEThe making of anIPM advocate – ‘sopractical & logical’IF YOU’D TOLD STAN MCKAY 10 YEARS AGO HE WOULDTODAY HAVE A DEEP AND ABIDING INTEREST INHOVERFLIES, LACEWINGS AND SEVERAL DIFFERENT SPECIESOF PARASITIC WASP, HE WOULD HAVE LOOKED AT YOUSIDEWAYS.Stan McKay (centre), spreading the word on IPM.An adult hoverfly, one of several beneficialinsects in forage brassica crops.
     
 
1 / 1
 
"I never in a million years thought I’d be interested in this,” says FMC New Zealand’s southern area business manager and resident integrated pest management (IPM) enthusiast. “But it’s so practical and logical, it’s very easy to advocate for it. Once you understand it, it becomes quite obvious that it can be done. What surprised me at the start was the simplicity of it all!”

He’s talking about helping operationalise IPM across large areas of forage brassicas over the past few years, adopting techniques that were commonplace in horticulture at the time but not so prevalent on farm. The turning point came after the NZ launch of Exirel insecticide in 2014. “We knew we had a very IPM friendly product, and we also could see the industry needed to upskill to get the best out of it as a forage brassica product. So that’s when we started bringing overseas experts into NZ to improve our knowledge, and also started to make that push into training.”

He includes himself in the need to upskill – from today’s perspective he says in hindsight his knowledge of IPM was ‘minimal’ six years ago, but with exposure to overseas expertise, as well as to scientific studies on Exirel here with Plant & Food Research, that changed. As has the market. “Five to six years ago, reps and farmers would walk into the crop, see damage, and spray. We’re now walking into the crop weeks earlier, looking for eggs instead of damage, and watching to see how populations build up before deciding what to do in the way of control."

A key understanding with application of IPM principles to a large crop like forage brassicas is that the beneficial insects are already present, he says. “It’s not something we have to ‘add’. If you think back to when the parasitoid wasps for cloverroot weevil were introduced to NZ, they had to be released on-farm to get established. We don’t have to do anything like that.” 

What is required is observation and identification, especially at this time of the season. The larvae of two predator insects in particular are well worth knowing, he says – hoverfly, and brown lacewing. Both have a big appetite for common pests like aphids, with hoverfly larvae having the biggest impact, followed by lacewing larvae, then ladybirds.

Farmers and field reps are also encouraged to know their parasitic wasps, of which there are five species known to control pests such as aphids, leaf miner,white butterfly and diamondback moth. “A lot of times we get asked to come have a look, because there’s a bug in the crop. Often it’s a beneficial, and that’s where the growth in IPM has come from– in many cases farmers didn’t realise how many beneficials were around, or what they did.” 

He stresses that IPM is not about not using insecticides, but rather using them in the most appropriate way, minimising the impact on beneficials and maximising the impact on target species. And the benefits range from the immediate to the systemic, for both farmers and those helping them with input decisions. “The primary goal is to have a plan for the crop from the time the seed is planted right through to the time it’s grazed. What typically comes out of this is a reduction in the overall number of sprays, with no change to crop yield, and so a lower cost of production. ”

In this context, Exirel has an excellent fit. “But what we’ve also found is that when people learn the principles of IPM, they not only end up with a better understanding of pests and beneficials, they also have a greater understanding of all the insecticides and different chemistries that are used in the crop. That’s because they need to know their active ingredients, how they all work, what their residuals are and how they can be used alongside Exirel as part of a programme. So as well as understanding and confidence in IPM systems, they end up with a really good working knowledge of insecticides in general.”

McKay is pleased to see IPM becoming much more mainstream in forage brassicas than it once was. “It’s good, because there’s a lot of change going on out there. And this fits right in with some of those changes.”

For more detail contact your local FMC NZ area business manager.




This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with stylesheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so. The latest version of Firefox, Safari, Google Chrome or Internet Explorer will work best if you're after a new browser.