Barriers to IPM adoption for insect pests in New Zealand pastures
New Zealand’s pastoral sector faces significant challenges to pest management as long-standing insecticides are deregistered. To protect their pastures, farmers need to shift from reactive responses that lead to poor economic outcomes to pre-emptive responses that are viable in the long term. Current management practices (insecticides, endophytes, biological control) for New Zealand’s pasture insect pests were assessed from the perspective of Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Potential impacts from novel control strategies and emerging digital technologies were evaluated to determine how these could improve pest management. Cryptic IPM is present within the New Zealand pastoral sector: that is, farmers practise various elements of IPM but these elements are not integrated into a cohesive system, so farmers often fail to recognise pest impacts until significant economic losses have occurred. We identified important networks by which farmers, industry and researchers communicate and share information, and can develop strategies to raise awareness of IPM. To encourage adoption, farmers need to feel ownership of pasture IPM. Investment in IPM training for farmers through industry extension networks is essential to prepare farmers for the shift away from chemical insecticides to new biologically based control methods. Adoption of IPM will help pastoralists respond to current and new pest challenges.
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