Who is IPM Technologies?

IPM Technologies Pty Ltd is an Australian company that was established in 1996 to help farmers get better value out of fewer insecticides and improve control of insect pests by using Integrated Pest Management (IPM). This remains the primary aim of the company. Principals of the company are entomologists Dr Paul Horne and Jessica Page, who have worked together since the company was established.

We specialise in facilitating adoption of IPM using a participatory approach. We have developed and implemented practical IPM strategies to manage invertebrate pests in a wide range of both protected and outdoor crops including cut-flowers, berries, vegetables, tree and vine crops, nurseries, broad-acre crops and pastures.

Operating from our base in the north-east of Melbourne, we have worked on a wide range of projects across Australia and overseas (see “Examples of our Work”). Clients include small and large farming operations, R&D corporations (e.g. Hort Innovation, GRDC), Australian and multi-national chemical companies, agronomy companies, Landcare groups and Catchment Management Authorities. Paul Horne has also lectured for many years at La Trobe University in entomology and IPM and has supervised Honours, Masters and PhD students from La Trobe and Melbourne Universities.

IPM Technologies is independent and can offer impartial advice on all aspects of invertebrate pest management. We do not sell chemicals or beneficial invertebrates.

What is IPM?

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is the successful integration of all available methods of controlling pests, rather than just relying on pesticides. An IPM strategy deals with all pests, harnessing biological and cultural controls as the first line of defence, and using compatible chemicals (those which are least disruptive to the key biocontrol agents) as a support tool only when necessary.

Some of the services we offer

We offer a range of services including training courses and workshops, training in crop monitoring, insect identification, IPM and entomology research and extension, and practical IPM advice and support for farmers and advisors.

Workshops

We offer our standard 3- 4 hour workshops on IPM or Entomology for groups of up to 16 participants. In the IPM workshops we develop an IPM strategy for the crop and pest spectrum of interest to the participants. In this way those taking part will take home a strategy to use IPM on their crops and so is tailored for the group attending.

Cost: $1,500 plus GST and travel costs for each workshop

Entomology Short Courses

We offer two online entomology courses. One is for applied entomology in agriculture and is aimed at those particularly interested in knowing more about insects (pests, beneficials and benign species) in agriculture. The other is for those people interested in just knowing more about insects, including those just found in the backyard. Some Landcare groups will be interested in this course.

Comencing April 2021. contact us

Field Visits

Sometimes it is just best for us to visit the farm and sort out with the grower/ advisor jut what is the problem and how we suggest dealing with it. We can make this visit by arrangement and can always try to organise it so that it can fit with our travel plans for other reasons to minimise travel costs.

Cost: Depends on location. Contact us.

Cultural control

Cultural controls are any management methods that either enhance populations of beneficial species or disrupt populations of pest species. In some cases cultural controls can be the most effective control of all and eliminate the need for pesticides all together.

Some examples of cultural controls are variety selection, time of planting, weed control, crop rotation and irrigation. The list of options is endless and is often determined by the individual requirements and possibilities on each farm.

Chemical control

Chemical control in an IPM system means that the choice of which pesticide to use is not only based on the efficacy on the pest but also on the impact the product might have on beneficial species. There are many selective pesticides available but that does not mean that they are all safe to all beneficial species.

It is important to understand the impact that each product will have on the key beneficial species for each crop type. The aim of IPM is not to eliminate all pesticide use, but to use pesticides as support tools for when biological and cultural controls are not enough on their own. Some pesticides are not synthetic chemicals and include bacterial, viral and fungal pathogens that are formulated to be sprayed in the same way as chemical insecticides.

Monitoring

The aim of monitoring is to decide if a crop needs a pesticide application or not, and if so, which one.

For IPM crop monitoring this involves looking for both pest and beneficial species. The best way to do this is by direct searching and using a hand lens. Pheromone traps and sticky traps can also be useful tools. The frequency and intensity of monitoring is determined by many factors including time of year, pest pressure, value of the crop and the needs of each farm.

It is important that the monitoring program is simple and practical and achievable, it is better to a do a little bit often than none at all.