IPM - Insects, Weeds and Diseases

An integrated approach for disease, pests and weeds incorporates a range of management decisions and resources to reduce disease, pest, weed outbreaks and reduce the reliance on herbicides and insecticides for their management.

Integrated disease, pest and weed management is a whole year approach as cropping decisions made in the autumn and winter can impact their management during the summer.

An integrated approach will maintain the farms profitability, reduce the risk of insecticide and herbicide resistance and minimise risks to human health and the environment. It should be noted the Biosecurity myBMP module is part of an integrated farming system and cotton growers are in the front line for early detection and immediate reporting of suspect insect, weeds and disease on farm. It is intended the IMP module be complete in alignment with the Biosecurity module.

The key issues addressed in this module include:

  • Monitor crops for disease and report unusual plant symptoms to Exotic Plant Pest Hotline - 1800 084 881
  • Practice good integrated disease management at planting, crop and post harvest
  • Practice good farm hygiene (Come Clean Go Clean) to minimise spread of pests, weeds and disease onto and off your farm
  • Adhere to terms and conditions for Bollgard II® Resistance Management Plan, Roundup Ready Flex® and Liberty Link®
    Crop Management plans
  • Pest control decision based on pest and beneficials correctly sampled and identified, adherence to Insecticide resistance Management Strategy (IRMS) and impact on beneficials and bees
  • Correctly identify weeds and monitor weeds after herbicide applications
  • Weed control decision s are based on weed species/growth stage Herbicide Resistance Management Strategy (HRMS) and rotating herbicide modes of action
  • Practice good integrated weed management on the whole farm including multiple weed control methods are used in crop, fallow, rotations, and non-crop areas to manage weed burdens and herbicide resistance
  • Management of volunteer and ratoon cotton plants through the year in crop and non-cropping areas


Key Area: Integrated Disease Management

Integrated disease management is carried out on farm

Check List:

Level 2

Crops are monitored for disease symptoms, the information is used to identify where the disease occurs on the farm and monitor the disease over time

Level 2

Disease resistant varieties are selected where possible to assist in controlling diseases

Level 2

All farm personnel, contractors and visitors, where possible, are made aware of diseases on farm and unusual disease symptoms are reported

Level 2

An integrated disease management strategy is implemented across the whole farm:

  • optimal planting date and temperature
  • optimise crop nutrition and irrigation
  • crop residue management
  • volunteer and ratoon cotton plants are controlled throughout the year to minimise disease carry over
  • crop rotations

Key Area: Integrated Weed Management

Integrated weed management is carried out across the whole farm

Check List:

Level 1

Herbicide tolerant cotton is managed in accordance with license terms and conditions of Technology User Agreement (TUA)

Level 2

Crops are monitored for weeds including after each herbicide application. Weeds are correctly identified

Level 2

Timing of herbicide applications is managed for weed species and growth stage to ensure effectiveness of the application. Records are kept

Level 2

Herbicides are selected based on rotating herbicide modes of action, residues and re-cropping intervals

Level 2

Two non-glyphosate tactics are managed weeds in cotton crops as per the industry's Herbicide Resistance Management Strategy

Level 2

Weeds that survive a herbicide application are controlled using an alternative mode of action or other methods e.g. cultivation, chipping before seeds are set

Level 2

An integrated weed management strategy is implemented on farm, multiple weed control methods are used in crop, fallow, rotation and non-crop areas to manage for weed burden and resistance:

  • rotate herbicide modes of action,
  • cultivation,
  • rotation crops,
  • cover crops,
  • manual chipping
Level 2

Good farm hygiene is practiced to minimise the entry of new weeds, diseases and pests onto the farm - 'Come Clean Go Clean'

Level 2

Volunteer and ratoon cotton plants are controlled in crop and non-cropping areas

Level 3

Good weed records are kept including: field history - crop rotation, weeds present and weed size, herbicide applications, use of non-herbicide weeds controls and other management practices influencing weed control

Level 3

Weed control thresholds are used to determine the timing of in-crop applications

Level 3

Precision spray technology is used to optimise weed control while reducing chemical inputs


Key Area: Integrated Pest Management

Integrated insect and mite management for Bt and non Bt cotton crops

Check List:

Level 2

Pest control decisions are based on industry thresholds for pest population and crop damage

Level 2

Application of insecticides are selected based on:

  • pest species present
  • Insecticide Resistance Management Strategy (IRMS) for the region
  • impact on beneficial and bees
Level 2

In the event of a suspected spray failure ensure the same insecticide group alone or in a mixture is not sprayed again

Level 2

Integrated pest management tactics are implemented across the whole farm to minimise pests: 

  • field selection,
  • varietal selection, 
  • seed treatments,
  • strategic planting time,
  • pest weed hosts including volunteer and ratoon cotton are controlled,
  • pupae busting,
  • trap cropping
Level 2

Crops are regularly monitored at least twice a week using industry sampling techniques. Pests and beneficials are correctly sampled and identified, crop growth and damage are recorded

Level 3

Beneficial insect populations are increased through the following management strategies e.g. planting native vegetation, trap crops, food sprays, releasing parasites or predators

Level 3 Pre-season planning considered the influence of whole farm cropping strategies on pests and beneficial species
Level 3

Participation in an area wide management group or similar group regarding integrated pest management (IPM)

Level 3

A post-season analysis of insect management strategies was undertaken to inform future pest management decision

Managing resistance in Bt Cotton

Check List:

Level 1

Adhere to Resistance Management Practices (RMP) for Bollgard (II or 3) cotton to delay the development of Bt resistance:

  • defined planting windows
  • mandatory growing of refuges
  • control of volunteer and ratoon cotton
  • restrictions on the use of foliar Bt
  • pupae busting as required (according to current industry guidelines for your region and field defoliation dates)

These RMP are in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Technology User Agreement (TUA)

Level 1

Bt cotton is managed in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Technology User Agreement (TUA)

Level 2

The refuge is managed to ensure healthy plants attract Helicoverpa spp. for the entire growing season

Level 3

Pupae busting of all Bt cotton fields regardless of defoliation date