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.
IPM Technologies can deliver workshops to groups interested in management of invertebrate pests in agriculture or to those interested in general entomology. Each workshop typically takes 2.5 to 3 hours with groups of up to 16 people. For the agricultural workshops participants will be able to take away an integrated strategy for controlling pests in the crop or pastures of interest to them.
Each workshop consists of some background in pest management options (biological, cultural and pesticides) with real life examples, insect and mite identification (relevant to each group) and the development of control strategies of interest to each group. Workshops are presented by one or two experienced IPM Technologies entomologists.
We have run these workshops across Australia and New Zealand with groups of farmers and advisors. Just a few for example, include workshops with viticulture groups in Langhorne Creek, SA, vegetable growers and resellers in Virginia, SA, potato growers in all major production districts from Tasmania to WA, macadamia growers and advisors in NSW and Qld, citrus growers and advisors in Victoria, SA, WA and NSW, broad-acre cropping in Victoria, Tasmania, SA and NSW and graziers in SA and Victoria.
The workshops are often just the starting point for a change in practice (growers and advisors) and we then help those interested in changing to IPM by farm visits to assist with decision-making.
The cost of each workshop is $1,500 plus GST, plus travel costs if interstate or overnight stays are required.
Entomology Short Courses
There are two courses on offer: 1. General Entomology and 2. Applied Entomology. Each course is presented on-line (using Zoom) by Dr Paul Horne, one of the leading Australian practitioners of Integrated Pest Management.
These are appropriate for anyone interested in insects and related invertebrates, with the Applied Entomology course particularly suited to those wanting to know more about options for controlling invertebrate pests in agriculture.
Each course consists of 6 x 1-hour sessions that are delivered over six weeks (or less by arrangement). The next courses are scheduled for April 3rd, 11th, 17th, 24th, May 1st & 8th. 11am for Applied Entomology, 1pm for General Entomology but can be arranged for other times. Contact us for more details by email ( email@example.com ).
The topics for each course include:
General Entomology: Insects and other Invertebrates (taxonomy), including the Orders of Insects (relevant to Australia); The structure of an Insect; Biology and Life-cycles of insects; Insect Ecology; Collection and Preservation of Insects.
Applied Entomology: Pest and Beneficial Species in Agriculture, including identification of key adult and juvenile stages; Types of Pests/ Types of Damage; Pesticides (mainly Insecticides and Miticides); Biological Control; Cultural Controls and IPM; Examples of IPM, How to build an IPM strategy.
“This was an incredibly useful course, showcasing some very practical and innovative solutions for managing pests in our crops. The very clear logic, excellent photographs and professional knowledge of Dr. Paul Horne in presenting this workshop provided an invaluable learning experience”. Janelle Schafer, Lismore, NSW.
After working with Paul some years ago in Victoria, I was excited to take his Applied Entomology course from the other side of the country (Darwin) and reinvigorate my passion for sustainable pest control. As an agronomist I see the failures in relying solely on chemistry to control pests – I have found Paul’s knowledge and practical IPM solutions for growers to be instrumental in helping me advise on sustainable pest control programs. Callum Hutcheson, Humpty Doo, NT.
Cost: The price for each course is $800 plus GST (Price in Australian dollars, but no GST for those outside Australia).
How to enrol: Register your interest, or ask any questions, with IPM Technologies by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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 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 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.
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.