The Australian cotton industry progressively embraced integrated pest management (IPM) to alleviate escalating insecticide resistance issues. A systems IPM approach was used with core principles that were built around pest ecology/biology and insecticide resistance management; together, these were integrated into a flexible, year-round approach that facilitated easy incorporation of new science, strategies, and pests. The approach emphasized both strategic and tactical elements to reduce pest abundance and rationalize decisions about pest control, with insecticides as a last resort. Industry involvement in developing the approach was vital to embedding IPM within the farming system. Adoption of IPM was facilitated by the introduction of Bt cotton, availability of selective insecticides, economic validation, and an industry-wide extension campaign. Surveys indicate IPM is now embedded in industry, confirming the effectiveness of an industry-led, backed-by-science approach. The amount of insecticide active ingredient applied per hectare against pests has also declined dramatically. Though challenges remain, pest management has transitioned from reactively attempting to eradicate pests from fields to proactively managing them year-round, considering the farm within the wider landscape.


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