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Title: Application of conservation agriculture principles for the management of field crops pests
Authors: Fanadzo, Morris 
Dalicuba, Mvuselelo 
Dube, Ernest 
Keywords: Conservation Agriculture;Management of field crops pests;Farmers;Environmental sustainability
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Springer International Publishing
Abstract: Worldwide, farmers are called upon to abandon harmful pesticides and adopt conservation agriculture for improving environmental sustainability, soil fertility, pest management and farm profits, among other benefits. Whereas the positive environmental benefits of conservation agriculture are non-questionable, pest management benefits are still a subject of debate. Abandonment of the plough and harmful pesticides towards conservation agriculture presented new challenges to farmers in terms of pest management. Pest problems are frequently reported as the main yield limiting factor for conservation agriculture in many production systems of the world, especially among the resource poor farmers. Here we first review the pest management benefits of conservation agriculture principles, with special focus on weeds and animal pests. In conservation agriculture, emphasis should be placed on use of different multiple and varied tactics incorporated into the cropping system design to avoid damaging levels of pests, thus minimizing the need for curative solutions. Conservation agriculture embraces integrated pest management, as it aims to incorporate reduced pesticide applications with cover crops, conservation tillage and crop rotation to strengthen natural pest control. We show that effective long term weed management in conservation agriculture systems is based on an integration of measures for limiting competitiveness of the weeds that are already in the field and growing with the crop, preventing the introduction of new weeds, and preventing the multiplication of the weeds that are already there. Although the abandonment of tillage towards no-till requires an initial investment on herbicides for weed control, herbicide requirement tends to decline over time with proper application of conservation agriculture. Proper selection of planting date, density and spatial arrangement of a crop can maximize the space it occupies early in the season and put competitive pressure on weeds. Crops can be rotated in sequences that are not only profitable, but highly effective at breaking animal pest
ISBN: 978-3-319-90309-5
Appears in Collections:Appsc - Books / Book Chapters

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