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Evaluating Best Practices Examples of Integrated Pest Management Solutions on Farms

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With increasing pressure on the world?s natural environment and resources it is essential that we develop farming systems that are low impact on the environment, but also highly productive in meeting the needs of a growing global population. The options are numerous and varied, ranging from low intensity, highly productive farming systems to balanced approaches, such as Integrated Farm Management (IFM) and even vertical farming. All have strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and disadvantages. Getting the balance right to ensure economic prosperity, environmental sensitivity and social gain are critical, to address food security and protect and enhance our valuable resources.

LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) was set up in 1991 with a view to develop more sustainable farming systems and encourage a better public understanding and engagement in farming and the countryside, through the development and promotion of IFM. A key part of this has been building on the foundations of Integrated Pest Management (IPM). LEAF has been active in creating change, encouraging a more whole farm approach through a range of methods, including the development of technical management tools; a network of demonstration farms; market opportunities and political influence. LEAF also runs Open Farm Sunday, the industry?s open day where over the last 6 years some ? million people have gone onto farms. However, the challenges that face us all are complex.

Systems need to be developed that are supportive of 'tried and tested' traditional methods, but also to encourage the adoption and development of new technologies. It is evident that there will need to be a range of farming systems that can be adapted to specific areas and regions. Furthermore, a collaborative approach will be necessary with farmers working across landscapes and catchments. It is a case of building on some of the valuable work LEAF has put into practice with farmers in the UK and across the globe through encouraging the development and promotion of Integrated Farm Management, a system that is developed with the input and involvement of the whole food chain, including farmers, environmentalists, industry, retailers and consumers.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2012

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