IPpM Paper - Sustainable Practices, Continued Life The...

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Sustainable Practices, Continued Life
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The environment has been changing since the beginning of Earth, but due to human activities, it is changing more rapidly than even. And this change is not for the better. It is extremely important to ask the question: Is this sustainable? We must ask this whether we are city planners, farmers, or even an average suburbanite. But what is sustainability? According to Wikipedia, sustainability is reaching all of society’s needs at the highest potential possible. However, while achieving these needs, biodiversity and natural ecosystems must not be affected to ensure future life for time to come (“Sustainability” n.p.). To simplify this explanation further, we need to provide housing, transportation, entertainment, and most importantly food for the world without destroying it. In this paper, the aspect of sustainable agriculture will be viewed through the application of Integrated Pest Management. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) defined by the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources as “an ecosystem-based strategy that focuses on long-term prevention of pests or their damage through a combination of techniques.” (“UC Statewide IPM Program” n.p.). The techniques include cultural, biological, and chemical methods with chemicals being a last resort. Cultural methods are practices the farmer may take like crop rotation, tilling the grounds, or delaying the planting. Biological methods are using natural predators to eliminate the pest. It could also be spreading a disease in which the pest will die. Lastly, chemical methods are pesticides or herbicides. The use of these methods is case specific and may include multiple methods. This decision is arrived through a general process. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lays this out in four steps. Step one is to set an action threshold. This is also known as an economic threshold which means the point at
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which a pest is causing too much damage to just let it be. It is where a farmer will begin to save money by removing the pest than to let it continue to destroy crops. If it is decided upon a pest is exceeding this threshold, step two is to identify the pest. This is important because many organisms live with the crops and some may be beneficiary. It is important to only target true pests. Also, by identifying the pest, if pesticides will be used, it will determine which to use so that no other organisms will be harmed. Moving to step three is really a step back. It is prevention. This is just what is says: prevent pest from ever becoming a problem. Examples of prevention include, but not limited to crop rotation, planting pest resistant varieties, and pest-free rootstock. By using prevention
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IPpM Paper - Sustainable Practices, Continued Life The...

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