31 Jul Greenhouse technology and integrated pest management
The demand for quality and sustainably produced products is increasing. For this, advances in greenhouse production systems are essential. Integrated pest management allows us to achieve an efficient productive model in terms of resource use and respectful of the environment. To perform this management properly we have to have a number of factors
The airtightness of the greenhouse is very important to achieve a good physical barrier to pests that will prevent its entry. In addition, the more airtight our greenhouse is, the better climate control we will have.
It must also be taken into account that the communication points between the interior and exterior of the greenhouse, such as doors or windows, must be adequately protected.
Thanks to its better structure, will allow us to perform a better integrated pet management since it protects us more than other types of pathogen entry structures due to its greater tightness. In the following graph we see the result of the observations made in the Experimental Station of Cajamar ‘Las Palmerillas’, Almería (Spain) in which it is shown how the degree of tightness of the structure affects the incidence of absolute tuta.
In addition to having an adequate and hermetic greenhouse structure, we must maintain and improve our facilities.
Our greenhouse structure can be cover by a photoselective plastic, which is a plastic that blocks part of the UV radiation, specifically the wavelength corresponding to the color most visible for insects.
However, photoselective plastics produce a negative effect on pollinating insects, as it limits their vision they have difficulty locating the flowers between the crop, especially in the case of bees since bumblebees are able to adapt to those unfavorable conditions of light for them.
The windows, since it is a communication zone between the greenhouse and the outside, must be adequately protected with meshes that have a hole size that does not allow the passage of certain insect pests. However, it must be taken into account that the meshes reduce greenhouse ventilation, especially the smaller the gap.
There are many types of meshes in the market (different sizes, photoselective, etc), you have to know how to select the most suitable for our greenhouse and our crop.
There are other factors that must also be taken care of in our greenhouse to achieve an effective integrated pest management, such as:
- Adequate management of greenhouse ventilation.
- Use of suitable plant material and resistant to virosis.
- Optimization of cultivation techniques (defoliation, elimination of inoculum, general hygiene of the installation)
- Control measures such as chromatic traps, pheromones for capture, sexual confusion.
- Prioritize the use of beneficial insects for pest control.