Cotton is one of the most important non-food crops in the world and is of particular importance in Asia, where China, Uzbekistan, and India are some of the world's largest producers. Those who work with cotton know that pests are a primary concern, as pests can reduce or destroy what is sometimes a farmer's only source of income. Often, a farmer's or agricultural professional's only response to pest problems is the application of synthetic pesticides. While this method of control can be effective in the short-term, inappropriate use of pesticides may actually result in larger pest outbreaks and other problems.
Integrated Pest Management, or IPM, provides an alternative to the single weapon approach and is characterized by management of pests at economically reasonable levels rather than their complete control. It is a way to keep pest densities below the level where they 'eat' into farmer profits. IPM practitioners use a holistic approach to managing pests, integrating methods and ideas from a broad range of disciplines into a comprehensive program.
The Integrated Pest Management for Cotton course is designed to improve participants' knowledge and skills related to IPM in cotton. With the knowledge gained in this course, agricultural professionals will develop a better understanding of:
The course can be used as either a simple reference tool or as part of a structured learning exercise. It is a reference in that it contains information and links to other resources dealing with cotton IPM.
This course is designed to improve readers' knowledge of the principles and practices associated with Integrated Pest Management for cotton. It is anticipated that participants will have professional contacts with cotton farmers and are in a position to advise them on pest management strategies.
There are three modules in the Cotton IPM course:
There are also three reference files that can be downloaded: