Pest Management

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Science  21 Mar 1975:
Vol. 187, Issue 4181, pp. 1045-1052
DOI: 10.1126/science.187.4181.1045


Although it has not yet been universally adopted, pest management figures prominently in current planning. For pest management to be effective, agricultural scientists must adopt an interdisciplinary approach to solving problems; this means considering not only complexes of pests including insects, pathogens, and weeds, but whole crop systems. The requisites for successful pest management programs include availability of current weather data, cooperation between research and Extension personnel, and feedback from individual growers.

A pilot program for alfalfa pest control is in its third year of development at Purdue University. It involves the cooperation of entomologists, engineers, physiologists, economists, and agronomists, and research and implementation proceed simultaneously. Microcomputers are used for monitoring, integrating, storing, and transmitting meteorological information to a central location, where it is used in simulations of the alfalfa plant and the alfalfa weevil. The resulting advisories are produced at teletype terminals at four locations in the alfalfa growing region of Indiana. Our experience with this prototype system indicates that computer-based pest management programs will be dynamic and reliable systems capable of delivering alternative action strategies with virtually unlimited accessibility.