Farm visit Essay Example
The pests usually cause damages to the crops leading to losses for farmers. The arthropod pests are known for causing damages well as diseases to the crops. The arthropod pests include the aphides, mites, white flies and different types of worms. The pests that feed on the crops usually cause damages and it affects the yields. Different measures to control the pests are in place. This includes the integrated pest management (Rush, 345). This method involves a broad based approach that involves the practices of economic control of the pests. This method is successful when controlling a large number of pests. A lot of observations were made during a farm visit to Werribee South. Cabbages were the crops being grown in the farm by Daniel. The paper is thus a report based on the observations that were made during the farm visit with regards to pest control and management.
Cabbage is first grown in the seedbed before it is transferred to the field where it is grown. The crop requires a lot of water during the initial stages of growth. It also requires different types of fertilizers and mulching can be done occasionally. It is such conditions that attract the arthropod pests that attack the farm. A proper control mechanism of the pests is required in order to prevent the attack. Some of the arthropod pets that attacks the crops includes cabbage white butterfly, ladybird and black headed mired. The ladybird whose scientific name is coccinellidae usually attacks the cabbages grown in the field. The ladybird usually feeds directly on the cabbages. Some of the main symptoms of the attack include holes on the leaves of the crop (Rush, 347). An attack by a large number of lady birds may lead to the total destruction of the cabbage leaves. The white butterfly whose scientific name is Pieris spp was also found to be attacking the cabbages. This pest usually causes large holes on the leaves of the cabbage. A large number of white butterflies around the crops may be noticed before an attack. It is at this stage that the eggs are laid. The eggs usually hatch into larvae which make holes on the leaves as they start to feed. However, when they turn into caterpillars, they start feeding vigorously making large holes on the crop. This pest has the potential of causing extensive damages to the crops as they feed directly on them.
The white butterfly also causes the plant to rot and it is also spoiled by its excrements. The severity of the attack is however varied from one year to the other. In case of a severe attack, the cabbages may be completely destroyed. It also has negative effects in terms of lowering the yield of the crops. The black headed mirid whose scientific name is Tytthus chinensis is a leaf predator and it attacks the cabbages. This type of pest has an elongated body and a needle like mouth parts. The mouth parts are usually used to suck the contents of the leaf on the cabbage. It usually causes a lot of damages on the leaves of the cabbage crop. The damages are also dependant on different stages of the insect (Rush, 349). The nymphs are also known for causing a lot of destruction on the cabbages. The symptoms of attack are usually the presence of small holes on the leaf of the crop. The damages caused are likely to impact negatively on the growth and development of the plant. A large scale attack by the pest leads to the destruction of the cabbage plant.
An integrated pest control method can be utilized to control the pests. This involves the use of different methods or a combination of methods to control the pests. All the three pests can be managed through the use of cultural methods. The cultural pets control method includes manipulation of the environment. The manipulation of the environment plays an important role in interrupting its lifecycle and hence preventing its growth. The implementation of preventive practices is also part of the control measures through the use of cultural means (Rush, 350). The cabbages that are resistant to the pests can also be grown as part of the control measures. Changing of fertilizers is also part of the control measures of the pests. The biological control of the pests is also a method that can be utilized to control the pets. This method involves the introduction of species that eats the pests but does not eat the crops. This method is effective in the control of pests such as ladybirds. Some species of aphids that only eat the ladybirds can be introduced to ensure that it is controlled.
This method however requires a lot of expertise during the breeding of the pests. On the other hand, some of species may also lead to diseases. A lot of caution should therefore be exercised when the biological pest control is utilized. The integrated pest control measures may also be used effectively in the control of the pests (Rush, 353). This method requires the farmers to used chemicals in combination of the other pest control measures including the biological, cultural and mechanical. This method is of the opinion that not all the pets will be eliminated. However, a reasonable number will be eliminated and hence preventing any adverse effects on the crops. The use of the integrated method also requires the farmers to use the chemicals in a responsible manner. This is for the purposes of preventing the negative environmental effects.
In conclusion, it is evident that the pests cause a lot of damages to the cabbages growing in the field. The yields of the crop can be reduced to a great extent due to the infestation of the pests. Various methods can be used to control the pests. This includes the integrated pets control measures as well as the use of cultural and biological methods.
Rush, Adrien, et al. Flow and stability of natural pest control services depend on complexity and crop rotation at the landscape scale. Journal of Applied Ecology 50.2 (2013): 345-354.
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