Decision support tools and IPM in food chain
Abstract: There are a number of tools available for pest management in stored product protection and in the food industry, but often the effectiveness of these approaches and how best to integrate them into a coherent and effective Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programme are not well understood. Limited acceptance of IPM in food facilities is partially explained by a combination of: costs of responsive pest control interventions; difficulty in sampling properly combined with unreliable sampling data; calculations of action thresholds being too simplistic. In operational practice precise treatment thresholds and economic injury levels have not been developed, and standards and rejection criteria are inconsistent and difficult to apply. As a result, treatments based on an economic threshold are not typically performed and control strategies are often applied preventively, even when using tactics that do not have any residual effect. In current practice, many locations still rely on calendar-based pesticide applications and have little understanding of the basis of pest management. The main objectives of the paper are to analyse aspects related to decision support tools in stored-product protection and their integrated application in practice.