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In the natural technique of farming, pest management is a lot more important than eliminating pests completely.

To deal with pests, such as mealybugs or spider mites, most farmers use chemical pesticides which can impact health, pollute water supplies through runoff, and, if pesticides are misused or overused, can actually kill plants.

Finding new methods to get rid of pests without requiring chemical inputs has increasingly become a priority for many farmers. Implementing these methods can save crops from destructive pests without the need for harmful pesticides.

However, farmers may choose any one or a combination of the following methods for dealing with threats to their crops.

1. Non-Chemical

  • Crop rotation (changing the crops grown every year). This helps to prevent pests which may target one particular crop.
  • Cover crops: Planting between a crop to suppress weeds or offer an environment  that is not desirable to insects or diseases (e.g. planting clover between rows of fruit trees)
  • Pest-resistant seeds (e.g. biotechnology products)
  • Beneficial insects that attack pests.

2. Mechanical

  • Field vacuums, screens or barriers, sticky boards, tilling weeds.9

3. Chemical

  • Insecticides (target insects), herbicides (target weeds), fungicides (targets diseases), and rodenticides (target rodents). There are both natural chemicals and synthetic chemicals available for use. A farmer will choose the option which meets the needs of his or her farm and production choice (e.g. organic or conventional).

Source: Allaboutfood.