Managing Pests In The Farm
A farm is one major location where you are most likely to find pests. It might be a beautiful garden in your compound or a big farm you have in some other location. Wherever it is, pests would be there. And why not? Pests would thrive well in such an environment. Farmers take care of their crops giving it adequate water, and fertilizer, making the crops grow well, with big stems, fresh leaves, and fruits. This would invite pests which would come, attracted by the fruits and leaves and stems. Regardless of just how destructive these pests can be, proper and effective management can get rid of them, or reduce the scope of their damage, and White Horse Pest Management has helped with some means to achieve this.
In very simple words, farm pests are there to 'eat' the crops on the farm. It is atypical for certain insects or animals to eat plants since that is what they survive on. But in the process of eating, oftentimes, they lay to waste all that they come across, especially if they are large in number, spoiling the stems, finishing the leaves and fruits. Sometimes they just take a bite out of fruit, or bore a hole in it, and leave, and, as a result, such fruit becomes unsafe for consumption. Or they disturb the stems, and branches, eating and making holes in it. Whatever they do, their actions are detrimental to the crops on the farm, and all must be done to stop them.
Types of Farm Pests
Farm pests appear in a number of forms, but whichever form they appear, their presence on the farm has the same effect, although not in equal capacity
- Plants (Weeds)
Surprisingly, plants can be considered as pests to other plants. They are known as weed. A weed is an unwanted plant in a particular area. They aren't really special in any way. They are just ordinary plants that are not wanted. A buttercup flower in the midst of roses is a weed. Why weeds are considered as pests is because they compete with the main crops, absorbing nutrients meant for them, and even growing more than them. Some plants also choke the main crop, killing them eventually.
This is where most plant pests fall under. They are the ones that cause the most harm, destroying every part of the plant from the root to the leaves. Termites, ants, aphids, grasshoppers, praying mantis, locusts are just a few of a large number of insects that destroy crops. Locusts are one of the most destructive. They feed mainly on leaves, and a swarm of locust can finish every single leaf on a tree in a wide expanse of land within days. Branches break beneath their weight. They are a farmer's nightmare.
Rats, squirrels, and rabbits are no friends of crops, eating fruits, barks, and leaves.
These are another threat on the farm, particularly ones with grains, like corn, millet or rice farms. They attack the corn, going after it on the stalk and feeding on the grains. They do the same for rice also. They also make holes in fruits and suck the juice.
- Other Animals
Animals like goats and sheep can also prove to be a menace when left unattended to, eating leaves of these crops.
Other pests include millipedes, snails, and so on.
Pest Management Options
Pest management of farms involves ways to greatly control these pests, including restricting their area of damage, reducing their population, and so on. By following certain procedures, and adopting certain methods, you are putting a stop to the effect of these pests on your farm.
Popular Farm Control Methods Include”
This entails the use of pesticides to get rid of insects and other creatures lurking around your crops. But caution should be applied when using this method so the chemical does not affect the plant itself. Also using herbicides for the weeds so they can no longer deprive the plants of nutrients.
This involves manually uprooting weeds, setting traps for birds and rodents, and so on. Putting up a scarecrow to scare animals away, especially birds fall under this category. Also, constructing a fence to keep animals out is another option to try.
This involves the use of farm practices to combat these unwanted visitors. Certain pests become accustomed to a particular kind of crop on a space. The moment that crop is changed, the pests no longer visit that side, that is basically what is referred to as crop rotation. Other practices include cover crops, that is planting between other crops so as to create as little space as possible for weeds to thrive.
Some other processes involve the introduction of sterile male insects and animals so they can reduce the population growth of the pests. Also, you can try planting other crops the pest may like but you don't need just so they do not attack the ones you need.
The main aim of pest management in the farm is to seek the best solution to pest attacks on your crops, rather than eliminating the pests themselves, and so other means could be employed, as long as your crops are fine at the end of the day.