In addressing risks and uncertainties for integrated pest management, Australian researchers have concluded that more needs to be known about the complex rela tionships between climate and pest cycles relevant to local place. In this regard, collaborative activity is required between scientists, risk managers, government and local farmers to determine best practice approaches for addressing pest management, with the aim of achieving economically-sound and ecologically-sustainable outcomes.
Research results relating to Sclerotinia rot in Australian canola and stripe rust in wheat offer useful practical findings for the development of pest management systems elsewhere. A major focus of Australian research is the optimization of natural controls relating to informed planting strategies, and the minimization of pesticide application through the prediction of climatic influences, which can in turn lead to optimal effectiveness in the control of disease agents. Technology transfer is, however, a highly specialized area which has resulted in errors in the past, and which must therefore be treated with circumspection.
tte relationship between macro- and microclimate, and the effects on the cycles of disease agents, needs special attention if quantity of applied pesticide is to be minimised, while optimising disease control outcomes.
While improvements in meteorological and crop-pest monitoring and modeling will remain important, a sound understanding of local economic, ecological and social realities is essential if the effectiveness and accountability of interventions is to be assured.
Support from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Asia-Pacific Network (APN), Australia-India Council, University of Western Sydney and New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) in carrying out this research is appreciated.
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