Staying ahead of pest pressures

Even with pest pressures on the upswing, proactive pest management helps you keep the upper hand

3 mins

If you feel like insects, weeds, and plant pathogens have increased in recent years, you’re correct—and you’re not alone. Growers and farmers worldwide are battling rising pest pressures on all fronts. And if predictions from the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) are right, there’s little relief in sight. At least as far as nature is concerned.

Invasive species are part of the problem, but climate change is the driving force behind many pest-related challenges growers face. New pests continue to arrive, pest ranges keep expanding, weather extremes bring plant stress, and warm winters fail to keep pests in check. But there’s hope.

Even with pest pressures on the upswing, proactive pest management helps you keep the upper hand. A few simple steps can help you keep your growing operation prepared to overcome.

Proper plant nutrition

The first line of defense against insects and disease is proper, premium plant nutrition. Not only do healthy, well-nourished plants bring a better price, they enhance your business’s brand significantly. And they have greater resilience to pests and environmental stresses.

When you invest in nutrients that can make a difference—whatever climate change brings—that difference carries through every step of the production and sales process. From your growing operation to your changing customer base to the home consumer who tracks their product back to you so they can buy more, your investment yields returns.

By matching your nutrient regimen to your unique growing operation, right down to the specific crops you grow, you ensure your plants get the nutrients they need when they need them. Whether that means effective, efficient water-soluble feeding or getting the best from your controlled-release fertilizer (CRF), dialing in precise plans to match your production schedules is simple. Just reach out to your ICL Territory Manager (TM) for expert guidance and get your nutrient program on track.

Inspection and detection

With pest severity and distribution shifting along with climate, staying prepared for potential problems is a priority. Preparation starts with comprehensive sanitation before crops ever hit the tables. It continues with thorough inspection of everything that comes through your door—even from your most trusted suppliers. And it doesn’t stop there.

Establishing a strict, formal scouting program as part of an ongoing Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan helps ensure you find and address issues before they spread out of control. And, with the development of new technologies, scouting is easier than ever for field crops or crops indoors. Fall headlines even announced the greenhouse world’s first autonomous IPM scouting robot—and it forecast yields, too.

When it comes to pests and disease, you don’t know what you have until you look. And, in some cases, you still don’t know what’s holding back your crops until you test. Staying proactive with inspection and detection for everything from insect pests to weed management to undiagnosed nutrient problems revealed in plant tissue, is key to your continued success.

Your local ICL TM can help you say goodbye to the guesswork and, when appropriate, connect you with our ICL Lab Services for support.

Growing solutions

While premium plant nutrition is essential to meeting climate-change challenges, we understand that overcoming pest pressures doesn’t end there. At ICL, we’re committed to providing you with the solutions your growing operation needs, from plant nutrition to proactive plant protection.

Our commitment extends from trusted, industry-leading fertilizers like Osmocote controlled-release fertilizers and Peters water-soluble fertilizers to premium products to help you fight insects, fungal diseases, and weeds head-on.

Your local ICL Territory Manager understands what’s happening in your region. They know the challenges you’re facing today and what’s headed your way. Whether you need nursery and greenhouse insect controls, preventative and curative fungicide treatments, or pre-emergent herbicides to control and suppress unwelcome weeds, we have solutions that can help.