To fight insects effectively you need the right approach

Pests are part of nature but when left unchecked, they can be any farmer’s worst nightmare. The trick is to have a good balance. When it comes to spray programs and products, responsible use leads to sustainable solutions.

Tyron Grieve, chemical consultant at Syngenta, gives advice on spray programmes during African Farming‘s latest season that airs on Honey, channel 173, Tuesdays at 17:00.

He says Syngenta’s consultants visit farmers to give them advice on spraying as well as products tailored to the farmers’ needs. 

“Each individual area has its own microclimate. A spray programme must be worked out for that specific climate in order for it to be effective. The lifecycles of insects differ in these different climates – on one farm a specific insect’s cycle might be longer, but on his neighbour’s farm it is shorter.”

Therefor the consultant will work out a spray programme that takes into account the practices followed by the farmer, as well as the climate on the farm.

Once the programme is set, the correct product needs to be selected. With this selection the main focus is on producing a good crop and high yields, however the impact on the environment should also be addressed.

Responsible use of chemicals not only protects the health of the soil and plants, but it also minimises the risk of insects developing resistance to a certain product. Insects that are repeatedly exposed to the same chemical will develop an ability to withstand it, meaning the product will no longer be effective.

“That is why it is so important to adjust your spray programme with the insects’ life cycles in mind to make sure that you have enough intervals and use enough products at the right time. It will prevent resistance and ensure sustainability on the farm,” says Grieve.

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