Courtesy of the International Pest Management Institute.|
You did not weave the web of life, you are merely a strand in it. Whatever you do to the web, you do to yourself. You may think you own the land. You do not. It is God's. The earth is precious to God and to harm the earth is to heap contempt upon its creator. - Chief Seattle (1854)
The basic biological concepts of Integrated Pest Management have been practiced for years and the philosophical concepts are intertwined in the practice of IPM.
About the time humans started aggregating into villages and began planting selected food crops in clusters near rivers in fertile valleys, pests became an increasing challenge. They had to live with the ravages of pests of all types that attacked them and their crops. Through trial and error, humans began to learn how to improve conditions and control the environment. People learned to perform cultural and physical control practices for crop protection. Methods such as destroying or using crop refuse, roughing diseased plants, tillage to expose an eliminate soil insects, removal of alternate hosts off pathogens and insects, timing of planting, crop rotation, trap crops, determining optimum planting sites, pruning, dusting with sulphur, and others reduced damage potential to many crops from many pests. These cultural and physical control methods are still viable today.
These cultural and physical methods of crop protection were developed, refined and used into the late 1800's. As crop production methods improved, larger and larger acreage of crops were cultivated, an less reliance made on diversified agriculture. Equipment became larger and faster, and cultivation of larger acreage became feasible - monoculture replaced diversification. Some pest problems no longer could be controlled by the known combinations of cultural and physical practices, so the search was on for more effective pest control measures. A great number of noxious mixtures were tried with few beneficial results, until the discovery of "Paris Green" in 1870 for insect control and, in 1882, the discovery of "Bordeaux Mixture" for control of fungi. These discoveries ushered in an age of chemical research leading to the development of inorganic chemicals in early 1900 for pest control in agriculture until the 1940's. Crops resistant to insects and plant disease were known, but development of resistant cultivated varieties was not pursued until after 1900. The development and use of cultural controls for crop protection almost disappeared from crop production practices.
However, there were some early advocates of less reliance upon pesticides. Stephen A. Forbes, University of Illinois, adopted the word "ecology and applied ecological studies for insect studies in agricultural crops in the 1880's Charles W. Woodworth, A.E. Michelbacher (University of California, and many others stressed the importance of ecology in insect control. A highly sophisticated system for cotton boll weevil control had been developed by 1920, and economic thresholds were identified to initiate spray treatments with calcium arsenate. In spite off some of these early success stories, there was a gradual shift toward dependence upon chemical pesticides. Although there was some reported resistance of pests to pesticides, these were largely ignored. It was noted that after treatments with the inorganic insecticides, other pests emerge and populations were accentuated. In the mid 1940's, the introduction of DDT and other organochlorine chemicals and the organophosphates and carbarnates later, led to almost total dependence upon chemical pesticides for crop production. This eventually led to concerns about the adverse effects of excessive use of pesticides on the environment, financial burdens from increasing costs of pesticides, and health hazards to growers, applicators and others. The publication of "Silent Spring" in 1962 by Rachel Carson pointed out the importance of the potential effects of chemical pesticide dependence.
In the late 1960's, a movement to develop more environmentally benign crop protection methods began. Although economics was the prime driver to use crop scouting to determine spray schedules, it was a first real step toward an IPM approach. It wasn't long before some scouting approaches started noticing increased numbers of parasites and predators when sprays were delayed or eliminated. In the 1970's, researchers began to identify and develop crop protection systems that integrated many of measures to reduce pest populations to levels below damaging levels requiring pesticides. In the 1980's, some pioneering advocates of IPM began applying IPM principles an practices to urban sites. Since that time, IPM systems have been developed for several urban sites such as schools, parks, hospitals, and nursing homes.
THE FORMATIVE YEARS (1880 - 1961)
Also established the County Board of Horticultural Commissioners
First highly successful classical biological control program
THE EARLY CONTROVERSY 1962 - 1971
Mrak report - a comprehensive study on pesticides and their impact
Federal phase-out of DDT for all but "essential" uses
American Trial Lawyers Association establishes Environmental Law
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officially formed
Number of farms set at 2,949,000 - a drop from 3,018,000 from 1945
California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)
ON-THE-BANDWAGON 1972 - 1980
California - law to promote pest management systems and to license
Huffaker Project - USDA funds first major IPM research effort
IPM mentioned in President Carter's Environmental Message
President Carter's Memorandum to Federal agencies
HANGING ON 1980 - 1990
National Parks Service adopts IPM policy and implements IPM
County Agricultural Commissioners begin reporting on IPM,
Food processors look to IPM
EPA starts work on policy to register "safer" pesticides
President Clinton's memorandum to federal agencies to adopt IPM
THE FUTURE - 1995 AND BEYOND
IPMI revises its IPM for Schools and Other Public Sites workbook
IPMI works toward international markets for IPM workshops
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