Development of a Pest Warning System to Reduce Chemical Use in Hardy Nursery Stock Production and by Professional Gardeners
In Belgium a pest early warning system was introduced in 1996 by the extension service of the Belgian Ministry of Agriculture.
Its creation was prompted by the withdrawal from the market of several broad-spectrum pesticides and the growing environmental consciousness of both growers and their customers. The warning system meant that existing routine calendar-based treatments could be replaced by a more integrated pest management approach with selective pesticides and more attention paid to use of natural enemies. The aim of the system is reduced and more effective use of pesticides by limiting treatment to the moment in the lifecycle of a pest when it is most vulnerable. The number of treatments and thus the cost therefore decrease. The system is available to nurseries, garden contractors, and local authority parks and open spaces managers.
The service initially provided warning messages regarding five pest species. In 1997 operation of the warning system was transferred to
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