Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for Small-Scale Farms in Developed Economies: Challenges and Opportunities

Insects. 2019 Jun 21;10(6):179. doi: 10.3390/insects10060179.


Small-scale farms are an important component of agricultural production even in developed economies, and have an acknowledged role in providing other biological and societal benefits, including the conservation of agricultural biodiversity and enhancement of local food security. Despite this, the small-farm sector is currently underserved in relation to the development and implementation of scale-appropriate Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices that could help increase such benefits. This review details some of the characteristics of the small farm sectors in developed economies (with an emphasis on the USA and Europe), and identifies some of the characteristics of small farms and their operators that may favor the implementation of IPM. Some of the challenges and opportunities associated with increasing the uptake of IPM in the small-farm sector are discussed. For example, while some IPM tactics are equally applicable to virtually any scale of production, there are others that may be easier (or more cost-effective) to implement on a smaller scale. Conversely, there are approaches that have not been widely applied in small-scale production, but which nevertheless have potential for use in this sector. Examples of such tactics are discussed. Knowledge gaps and opportunities for increasing IPM outreach to small-scale producers are also identified.

Keywords: exotic pest detection; non-chemical pest management; organic farming; small farms; urban agriculture.

Publication types

  • Review