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Handbook of Pest Management in Organic Farming

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This book is an up-to-date and comprehensive reference covering pest management in organic farming in major crops of the world. General introductory chapters explore the management of crops to prevent pest outbreaks, plant protection tools in organic farming, and natural enemies and pest control. The remaining chapters are crop-based and discuss geographic distribution, economic importance and key pests. For each pest the fundamental aspects of its bio-ecology and the various methods of control are presented. Understanding of the scientific content is facilitated with practical advice, tables and diagrams, helping users to apply the theories and recommendations.Ì_This is an essential resource for researchers and extension workers in crop protection, integrated pest management and biocontrol, and organic farming systems.

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21 Chapters

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1: Management of Crops to Prevent Pest Outbreaks



Management of Crops to Prevent Pest


Claudia Daniel,* Guendalina Barloggio, Sibylle Stoeckli,

Henryk Luka and Urs Niggli

Research Institute of Organic Agriculture, Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau (FiBL), Frick, Switzerland


Organic farmers face the same potentially severe pest problems as their colleagues in integrated pest management (IPM) and conventional farming systems. However, approaches to manage the pest insects are different because the aim of organic farming is a holistic system perspective rather than simple reductionist control approaches. Organic cropping systems are designed to prevent damaging levels of pests, thus minimizing the need for direct and curative pest control (Peacock and Norton, 1990). Within this chapter, we will briefly explain the standards for organic farming, which also set the framework for pest control.

We present a conceptual model for pest control in organic farming and describe the influence of functional agrobiodiversity and conservation biological control on pest management. We focus on the use of preventive strategies and cultural control methods. The system approach is illustrated with examples in organic Brassica vegetable and oilseed rape production, because these economically important crops


2: Plant Protection Tools in Organic Farming



Plant Protection Tools in Organic Farming

Massimo Benuzzi* and Edith Ladurner

CBC (Europe) S.r.l. – BIOGARD Division, Cesena, Italy


Organic plant protection tools are all those biological control tools and products of natural origin which control pests and diseases in agriculture, and are not synthetized via chemical processes. We will see later on that this definition is not truly correct, because it is not always easy to exactly define the actual difference between a product of ‘natural origin’ and a product obtained by chemical synthesis. In addition, frequently certifying bodies and even organic growers themselves do not take into account the importance of a formulated product allowed in o

­rganic farming being registered and authorized for a specified use within the country, in the same way as a ‘normal’ conventional plant protection product. Usually this is obviously linked with operational limits and may not be accepted by everybody, especially those who produce organically more for the philosophy behind it than for the aim of combining ecology and economy. Nevertheless, if organic farming should be considered the ‘most controlled and secure’ farming method, how can any competitive advantage be claimed if the production tools themselves are not equally controlled and certified? For this reason, in


3: Natural Enemies and Pest Control



Natural Enemies and Pest Control

Vincenzo Vacante* and Carmelo Peter Bonsignore

Mediterranean University, Salita Melissari, Italy


A number of invertebrates, mainly nematodes, mites and insects, directly or indirectly affect the human economy. According to ecological conditions and their evolutionary adaptations, some of these may damage human health and that of domestic and wild animals while others offend our sense of aesthetics or cause severe economic damage to cultivated plants. There is a wide spectrum of different types of damage caused and these have been variously studied. Phytophagous species living on cultivated plants and/or their products are commonly referred to as pests; the damage they cause induces a deleterious effect on the physiology of the host plant and/or on the quality and quantity of their products, and the resulting loss can be defined as the amount of negative economic impact measured in terms of utility or production of the plant species attacked. The relationship between pests and cultivated plants can be approached from various viewpoints, for example taxonomic, morphological, bio-ecological and economic.


4: Pest Control in Organic Citrus Groves



Pest Control in Organic Citrus Groves

Kaouthar Grissa-Lebdi1* and Hajer Sahraoui2

National Agronomic Institute of Tunisia (INAT), Tunisia; 2Citrus Technical Center,

Beni-Khalled, Tunisia



Citrus production takes place throughout the tropical and subtropical countries of the world (Spreen, 2012). About 140 countries grow citrus in the world and it is estimated that the total harvested surface is 9.6 million ha (FAO, 2015), with a total worldwide production of fresh citrus fruit amounting to 121,273.2 thousand t (FAO, 2015). The leading citrus-fruit-producing countries are

China (29,567 thousand t), Brazil (18,966 thousand t), the USA (9394 thousand t),

Mexico (7503 thousand t), India (7400 thousand t) and Spain (6512.6 thousand t), representing close to two-thirds of global production (FAO, 2015). Citrus production can be divided among four primary groups: (i) sweet oranges; (ii) mandarins (also known as tangerines); (iii) grapefruit; and (iv) lemons and limes (Spreen, 2012).


5: Pest Management in Organic Apple, Pear and Stone Fruit



Pest Management in Organic Apple,

Pear and Stone Fruit

Claudia Daniel,* Silvia Matray, Sibylle Stoeckli and Urs Niggli

Research Institute of Organic Agriculture, Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau (FiBL), Frick, Switzerland


Holistic approaches to pest management that aim at maximizing self-regulation and resilience of orchards are a key goal in organic farming (see Chapter 2, this volume). Pest management starts even before planting an orchard by site selection, orchard layout, planting systems (tree densities and pruning system), choice of cultivar and rootstock as well as cultivation techniques. Cultivation techniques and measures applied for disease control can also influence the dynamics of pest insects within orchards and need to be included in a holistic system view. In addition, the use of flowering strips to enhance natural enemies is a field of intense research. Direct control methods using biocontrol organisms or bioinsecticides are available for many pest insects. However, these methods can have side effects on beneficial arthropods and thus destabilize the self-regulating system. Therefore, selective methods combined with specific prevention strategies should be preferred and use of non-selective biopesticides should be limited to a minimum. This chapter describes currently applied and possible future strategies and methods for pest control


6: Organic Integrated Pest Management of Tropical Fruit Crops



Organic Integrated Pest Management of Tropical Fruit Crops

Jorge E. Peña,1* Daniel Carrillo1 and Ben Faber2

University of Florida, Homestead, Florida, USA; 2University of California,

Ventura, California, USA



Due to the current trend when consumers are looking for produce that is free of toxins and synthetic products, there is a significant opportunity for tropical fruit growers and marketers to capitalize on organic production of these crops (Zehnder et  al., 2007; Pritts,

2012). The same authors also emphasize that the fast growth of organic agriculture has not been adequately supported by vigorous research in order to address challenges such as arthropod pest management. This could be due to the fact that organic production is more technically difficult than traditional agriculture. Organic production is fraught with problems of lower yield, variable effectiveness of pest, disease and weed management tools, and market access (Suckling and


7: Pest Management in Organic Grape Production



Pest Management in Organic Grape


Serge Kreiter

Montpellier SuPAgro UMR CBGP, Montferrier-sur-Lez cedex, France


Grapes are grown in a great variety of climates and agricultural situations, ranging from extreme hot and dry conditions (e.g. Israel, Greece, south of Spain, Arizona) to cool-­climate conditions (e.g. Canada, New Zealand, Moldavia) that confer a strong specificity to the final product

(Dominé, 2010). In each of these situations, appropriate and relevant information must be acquired in order to develop sustainable pest management programmes adapted to the given wine- or table-­grape-producing areas, and the local complex of diseases and arthropod pests.

From a crop protection point of view, fungal diseases (powdery mildew, bunch rot, downy mildew) are the more serious concerns and major drivers of pest management programmes in the major areas of production.

In several regions of the world, a suite of diseases require several fungicide sprayings per season to achieve optimal vine health.


8: Pest Management in Organic Olive



Pest Management in Organic Olive

Gavino Delrio and Andrea Lentini*

University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy


Olive production occupies an estimated area of some 10 million ha worldwide, although more than 98% of the c.800 million cultivated olive trees are located around the Mediterranean Basin. Olive trees are very long lived, and their productivity fluctuates considerably from year to year. Most traditional groves are sited in hilly, rocky and arid areas, in which other crops cannot be cultivated; as a result, they represent a characteristic component of the Mediterranean landscape. In more recent times, a combination of planting dense stands of early fruiting cultivars, using irrigation and artificial fertilizers and spraying with pesticides, has wrought many changes to traditional practice (Lòpez-Villalta, 1996).

More than 200 insect pests, fungi and weeds are potentially harmful to the olive tree, but the number of species responsible for economically significant levels of damage is only around ten. The most prominent bacterial disease is caused by Pseudomonas savastanoi pv. savastanoi (olive knot), while the four most important fungal pathogens are: (i) Spilocaea oleagina (Cast.) Hugh.


9: Control of Pests in Soybean in Organic Farming



Control of Pests in Soybean in Organic Farming

Marie-Stéphane Tixier*

Montpellier SupAgro UMR CBGP, Montferrier-sur-Lez cedex, France

Soybean Origins

The soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) belongs to the family Leguminosae and the subfamily

Papilionideae. This species originated from

East Asia. It was first cultivated in China about 5000 years ago (Hymowitz, 2004) and then was introduced all over the world.

Some pest species have thus also been introduced in these new production areas as well. The ‘native’ species are usually oligophagous, whereas other pests native to the areas where soybean has been introduced have adapted to this plant and are usually polyphagous (Table 9.1).

Paraguay produce approximatively 4–5% of the world production and Canada 2%.

The other 86 countries producing soybean account for 6% of the total production

(FAOSTAT, 2012). Seven countries account for 90% of soybean organic production:

China (58%), the USA (15%), Canada (4%),


10: Pest Management in Organic Chestnut



Pest Management in Organic Chestnut

Hüseyin Baspinar* and Mehmet Karagöz

Adnan Menderes University, Aydın, Turkey


Chestnut (Castanea sativa Miller) is an

­important broadleaved tree in many countries of the world. This tree is a member of the Fagaceae family (which also includes oak trees) and comprises four important species. These species include the American, Asiatic and European species, and the

Asiatic one is further divided into Chinese and Japanese chestnut (Hageneder, 2005).

Hence, the plants of this tree can be found in the continents of Asia and Europe as well as Australia and America. Natural hybridization of chestnut plants occurred where plants from two species were grown by growers in close proximity. Also, artificial hybridization of different species was accomplished for the sake of improving the yield potential of the original varieties. In recent times, the hybrids of chestnut can be found in some countries (Mudge and Brennan, 1999; Juma, 2014).


11: Pest Management in Organic Hazelnut Growing


11  Pest Management in Organic

Hazelnut Growing

Sebahat K. Ozman-Sullivan*

Ondokuz Mayis University, Samsun, Turkey


the economic threshold (Messing and

­AliNiazee, 1985).

Hazelnuts are a major crop that is commerDespite the variability of the economic cially produced in many countries, includ- importance of the harmful species across ing Turkey, Italy, Azerbaijan, Georgia, the hazelnut-growing countries, the big bud mite

USA and Spain. Turkey is the world’s lar- (Phytoptus avellanae Nal.), hazelnut weevil gest producer, with approximately 70% of (Curculio nucum (L.)), pentatomid bug (Palthe world’s production and 80% of exports omena prasina (L.)), ambrosia beetle (Xyle(Anonymous, 2014a). Insect and mite pests borus dispar (F.)), hazelnut aphid (Myzocallis are a major problem of hazelnut production coryli (Goeze)) and filbertworm (Cydia latithroughout growing areas worldwide (Vig- ferreana (Walsingham)) are commonly regiani, 1984; AliNiazee, 1997a, 1998; Tuncer ported as pests, causing damage that varies et al., 2001; Ozman-Sullivan and Sullivan, in severity from area to area and year to year.


12: Pest Management in Organic Almond



Pest Management in Organic Almond

Hüseyin Baspinar,1* David Doll2 and Jhalendra Rijal3

Adnan Menderes University, Aydın, Turkey; 2University of California Cooperative

Extension, Merced County, California, USA; 3University of California Cooperative

Extension, Stanislaus County, California, USA



Almonds possess economic, medicinal and nutritional benefits and are consumed in nearly every country worldwide. Major p roduction areas, however, are limited

­ to ­Mediterranean-like climates, which are broadly categorized as hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. Even though the

­almond tree is native to western Asia, the

USA has the highest production of almonds in the world. In 2013, roughly 82% of the almond production was within the USA with an estimated 840.91 thousand t (Tables 12.1 and 12.2). Other major production areas include EU-27 (the 27 countries of the European Union) (pre­dominantly Spain), Australia and Turkey. The export value of the almond crop for the USA is US$3387 billion in 2012


13: Pest Management in Organic Rice: Latin America and the Caribbean



Pest Management in Organic Rice:

Latin America and the Caribbean

Alberto Pantoja,1* Edgar A. Torres,2 Anamaria Garcia,1 Eduardo J. Gaterol,3

Gustavo A. Prado2 and Maribel Cruz3


Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, Santiago, Chile; 2Centro Internacional de

Agricultura Tropical (CIAT), Cali, Colombia; 3Fondo Latinoamericano para

Arroz de Riego (FLAR), Cali, Colombia


Rice (Oryza sativa L.) is the staple food for half of the world population and is considered the single largest food source for the poor in coastal areas of Latin America and the

Caribbean (LAC) countries (Zorrilla et  al.,

2013). Rice is also the fastest growing food source in sub-Saharan Africa (GRiSP, 2014).

Although, LAC only produces 4.5% of the world’s rice, the crop is a staple for many coastal communities in the region (Pantoja et  al., 1997; Zorrilla et  al., 2013). In 2013, about 5.3 million ha of rice was planted in


14: Wheat Production in Organic Farming



Wheat Production in Organic Farming

Paolo Bàrberi* and Ambrogio Costanzo

Institute of Life Sciences, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, Italy


Wheat is the cereal crop with the largest acreage under organic management. The most recent figures available show that in 2012 the total area grown worldwide with organic cereals totalled 2,652,864 ha, of which wheat represented c.42% (Willer and Lernoud, 2014).

A wheat field is an agroecosystem that can harbour a variety of insects, but in major wheat production areas only a few of them are considered to be serious pests, thereby downgrading the importance of pest management as relative to, for example, weed or nutrient management (Birzer and Badgery,

2006; Weisz et al., 2014).

Nevertheless, there may be situations in which pest management is necessary or advisable. For example, in fragile agroecosystems of West Asia and North Africa, where drought is recurrent, insect pests and diseases often contribute to yield instability (Ceccarelli et al., 1992). Increased instability of weather patterns consequent to climate change may also exacerbate pest problems by altering the complex biological interactions affecting pests (Chakraborty and Newton, 2011).


15: Pest Management in Organic Vegetable Greenhouses



Pest Management in Organic Vegetable


Carmelo Peter Bonsignore* and Vincenzo Vacante

Mediterranean University, Salita Melissari, Italy


The ecological factors acting inside the greenhouse exert a variable influence on the bio-ecology of crops and on the animals

­associated with them. Usually, the development and the productivity of cultivated plants are positively stimulated, while the animal populations (pests and natural enemies) are influenced in various ways depending on the taxa and their evolutionary adaptations.

So, different pests find the inside of the green­ house a suitable environment in which to live and their populations can develop at high levels creating serious problems such that they need to be controlled, while that of their natural enemies, whether indigenous and/or released, may adopt different models, to the point that sometimes the

­development of populations of important beneficials is inconsistent. The phenomenon depends on various ecological factors


16: Pests and Natural Enemies in Organic Field Vegetables in Tropical and Subtropical Areas



Pests and Natural Enemies in Organic

Field Vegetables in Tropical and Subtropical Areas

Dominique Bordat*

Ex CIRAD, Montferrier, France


In tropical conditions, up to 70% of vegetable damage is caused by arthropods and the remaining damage is caused by diseases

(fungi, bacteria) and weeds. The damage caused by pests is often not identified by local growers and the natural enemy fauna is unknown to them. The growers are often uneducated and their knowledge of vegetable crops comes from traditional methods passed down from their parents.

The majority of growers use chemical control to manage pest populations. Most chemicals used are ineffective against pest populations, their use resulting in the appearance of resistant populations. Many pesticides used for cotton pest control which are not recommended for use on vegetables enter the horticultural system when farmers obtain them on the black market. As there are no regulations for their use on vegetables, overuse and non-compliance with application timing before harvesting occur.


17: Pest Management in Organic Field Vegetables in Temperate Areas



Pest Management in Organic Field

Vegetables in Temperate Areas

Claudia Daniel,1* Rosemary Collier,2 Urs Niggli1 and Martin Koller1


Research Institute of Organic Agriculture, Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau (FiBL), Frick, Switzerland; 2Warwick Crop Centre,

The University of Warwick, Warwick, UK


Preventative measures and the creation of resilient growing systems are key parts of pest management practice in organic field vegetable production (see also Chapter 1, this volume). Soil improvement, crop rotation, site selection, habitat management, variety choice, timing of planting and plant spacing are all considered before planting in order to avoid the most detrimental pest problems. Due to the huge variety of vegetable crops and their associated pest insects, specific tailored approaches are necessary.

The effects of cultural practices to reduce pest outbreaks, such as weed control, appropriate irrigation, suitable fertilization, the use of mulches, and adjusted harvest times have been investigated during the last few years. For some crops (e.g. cabbage and carrot; Finch and Collier, 2000), a holistic pest control strategy, which combines preventative and direct control measures, is available, whereas there are still huge knowledge gaps for other crops. For example, in lettuce production, pest management under organic conditions still relies heavily on direct pest control measures. However, direct control methods using bioinsecticides


18: Pest Management in an Organic Tea Plantation



Pest Management in an Organic

Tea Plantation

Qiang Xiao*

Tea Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences,

Hangzhou, China


Tea (Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze) is an important global beverage, which originated in China, the largest tea-producing country in the world. In 2013, more than 1.945 million ha of tea was planted in China producing about 1.89 million t (FiBL and IFOAM,

2014). Organic tea originated in 1983 and was first certificated in 1990 in China (Xu et  al., 2000). So far, the acreage of certificated organic tea in China is more than

53,000 ha (FiBL and IFOAM, 2014). Tea is an intensively managed perennial monoculture crop cultivated in large- and small-scale plantations located between latitudes 41°N and 16°S (Ye et  al., 2014). The warm and humid climate in this area is very conducive to the occurrence of pests of tea. According to incomplete statistics, more than 1000 arthropod species are associated with tea around the world (Hazarika et  al., 2009).


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