In association with the integrated control methods, pesticide applications are seen as the last method to be implemented.
European University of Lefke (EUL) Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Technologies Assist. Assoc. Dr. Murat Helvacı has made statements on “Integrated Control with Pests”.
“In agricultural production, economic damage occurs due to diseases, pests and weeds, and in order to prevent this damage, all the measures which are taken should be taken by considering the environment and human health are defined as plant protection,” said Helvacı. and among the methods that can be applied in the fight against pests, mostly chemical control by adding that pesticides come to mind first and are being applied. Helvacı continued his words as follows; “instead of applying pesticides continuously, ways of carrying out plant protection processes in a healthier way for humans and the environment have been researched by giving priority and weight to other combat methods. Previously, it was thought that biological and chemical struggles complement each other. Nevertheless, this view was later expanded into a more comprehensive form, integrating all appropriate methods of warfare. Thus, a plant protection strategy has emerged in which all appropriate techniques and methods, which are defined as “integrated control” can be used today”.
In the continuation of his words, Helvacı used the following statements in his statement by conveying information about the “Integrated struggle method”; the idea of integrated struggle began to emerge at the end of the 19th century and some applications were seen at the beginning of the 20th century. It is noteworthy that in these first applications, only biological warfare was considered and applied besides chemical warfare. Nonetheless, the concept of integrated struggle in its current sense was first put forward in 1954 and its principles were determined in the symposium held in Rome in 1965 by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). It is considered to be the most modern application developed in the field of plant protection.
This practice, which is commonly referred to as Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Integrated Pest Control (IPC) in English, has been defined in previous years in our country and Turkey with names such as Complementary Control, Whole War, Complementary Pest Control, Integrated Control, Integrated Pest Management. Today, it is commonly known as Integrated Combat. The aim of this control method is the use of multifaceted tactics in good coordination to ensure balanced crop production, to keep the losses caused by pests at the level that will provide the highest economic gain, to meet the other goals of the farmers, to minimize the risks of pesticides on humans, animals and the environment can be expressed. In this context, it is not desired to completely eradicate any living thing, either beneficial or harmful, in this struggle. It is only intended to keep population densities of harmful agents below the level of economic damage.
For this reason, it is absolutely necessary to know the economic damage thresholds of pests in integrated control programs. Again, it is of great importance to protect and support the natural enemies present in nature. These tactics used are cultural measures, biological control, biotechnical control practices (traps) and chemical control, in which plant varieties that are especially resistant to diseases and pests are used, among all the methods discussed so far. Each of these plays an important role in Integrated Combat. Despite the rapid increase in pesticide applications and due to its advantages, it has not been able to solve the problems related to pests and has brought social and environmental problems with it. The side effects of pesticides occur in non-target organisms and in the environment due to the toxicological and chemical properties of drugs. Most of the pesticides used spread as chemical pollutants in the agroecosystem, as a result of which the natural balance is disturbed and cause various side effects in humans.
Finally, Helvacı stated that, “pesticide applications are seen as the last method among integrated control methods and in agricultural production, cultural control, biotechnical control (traps) and biological control (suppressing beneficial insects and pest populations) methods are mainly applied in the integrated control method in agricultural production, thus eliminating pesticide applications”. He also emphasized that in order to minimize the environmental pollution problem in our country, integrated control methods should be applied together and the pesticide applications should be considered as the last resort.