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  Section: Principles of Horticulture » Plant protection
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Supervised control

Plant protection
  Physical control
  Cultural control
  Biological control
  Chemical control
  Insecticides and acaricides
  Application of herbicides and pesticides
  Toxicity aspects of pesticides
  Selection for plant resistance
  Integrated control
  Supervised control
  Legislative control

Most plants can tolerate low levels of pest and disease damage without yield reduction, unless the damage is to parts of the plant that become unacceptable (such as fruits for the supermarket trade). The term ‘economic threshold’ is used to summarize this concept. Cucumbers, for example, require more than 30 per cent leaf area affected by red spider mite before economic damage occurs in terms of yield loss. This enables methods of control that depend on some damage being done to ensure continued success, such as the use of predators. Damage assessments are used in apple orchards to decide whether control measures are necessary. Thus, at green-cluster stage (before flowers emerge) chemical sprays are considered only when an average of half the observed buds has five aphids per bud. Similarly, an average of three winter moth larvae per bud-cluster merit control at late blossom time. Pheremone traps enable the precise time of maximum codling moth emergence to be determined in early June. Catches of less than 10 moths per trap per week do not warrant control. DEFRA issue spray warning information to growers when serious pests, such as carrot root fly, and diseases, such as potato blight, are likely to occur. Supervised control may greatly reduce pesticide costs.


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