When you start your MPS-ABC record-keeping, you will undoubtedly come across the term ‘IPM Plan’. Filling in this plan is compulsory because MPS-ABC is benchmarked against the FSI ‘environmental basket’. All certification standards that are FSI2025 compliant have this requirement. If your company is audited, you will need to have this form ready. One question you may well ask when you first hear about the IPM Plan is: ‘What exactly is an IPM Plan and how do I produce one?’. In this article we take you through the entire IPM Plan step by step.
Sustainable crop protection strategy
IPM stands for ‘Integrated Pest Management’, which is an integrated approach to managing pests and diseases. The IPM Plan aims to minimise the dependence of horticultural companies on chemical crop protection agents. In IPM, pest and disease management is divided into eight phases. These phases enable you to anticipate potential pests, diseases and fungi in your crop by helping you to think ahead. The ultimate aim of the IPM plan is to establish a sustainable approach to crop protection.
Glastuinbouw Nederland has developed a tool for this that incorporates these eight phases of the IPM Plan. The focus is on the cycle of monitoring – decision-making – non-chemical methods – learning and optimising – prevention. However, occasionally it may be necessary to do more to combat pests, diseases or fungi. In that case, it is important to think about the phases in advance: using products in a targeted way, limiting them to the lowest necessary level and varying the products. These phases are explained in full on the Glastuinbouw Nederland website (in Dutch).
The IPM Plan step by step
The MPS IPM Plan consists of a number of elements. You will find the form for filling in these elements in the record-keeping environment and on our website. Have a copy open so that you can complete your IPM Plan following the step-by-step instructions below.
Table 1: Description of harmful organisms of economic relevance
In the left-hand column, enter the crop or crop group for which you want to list the infestation with pests, diseases or weeds. Under the heading ‘Pests’ you can specify for each crop or crop group which pests could potentially or are likely to occur that have an economic impact. You can do the same for diseases and weeds.
Table 2: Images and symptoms of the harmful organisms
You can list the harmful organisms that pose a risk to your economic situation in table 2. Record the name of the pest or disease in the first column. You can add an image of the harmful organism in column 2. If you don’t have a picture of it, you can also add a reference to a website, database or other location (e.g. a poster in your office) that has an image of this organism. For more information on pests and diseases, see the Royal Brinkman website.
In column 4, ‘Ideal conditions for spread of pest’, you can list the most favourable circumstances for the rapid reproduction of the harmful organism concerned. Important factors are:
- High temperature
- Highly fluctuating temperature
- Humid climate
- Dry climate
- Crop residues/old plants
Enter the applicable numbers for the pest concerned in column 4. If you enter number 6, you can also list details here.
In column 5 you record the economic threshold at which you judge the expected loss of yield to be greater than the cost of tackling the pest. One type of pest or diseas may have multiple economic thresholds. The various types of economic thresholds are:
- No alternative (other product) available
- The pest or disease is too far advanced in the crop
- Biological control is not an option
- Economic loss will be too great
Enter the numbers corresponding to the economic thresholds applicable to the pest concerned in column 5. If you enter number 5, you can also list details here.
This allows you to enter every harmful organism that poses an economic threat to your crop or crop group.
Table 3: Preventive measures
You no doubt take certain preventive measures to keep these pests and diseases at bay. There is a list of preventive measures in table 3. Alongside each preventive measure you can indicate whether you use it by entering Yes/No. If you enter ‘Yes’, you can give your reasons for doing so based on the situation in your company in the last column. If you take other measures than those listed in this table, you can add them at the bottom of the table.
Table 4: Monitoring
In this table you can keep a record of who in your company is responsible for scouting for pests, diseases and fungi, what resources you use and how you monitor your cultivation conditions. If you enter ‘Yes’ here, specify when this will be done in the last column. If you take other measures than those listed in this table, you can add them at the bottom under ‘Other measures.
Table 5: Control measures
In table 5 you should record which control measures you will use if a pest, disease or fungus gets out of control. This table is subdivided into ‘Use of non-chemical measures’ and ‘Use of chemical measures’. Alongside each measure you can indicate whether you will use it by entering Yes/No. If you enter ‘Yes’ here, you can describe how you will use it in your company in the last column. Under ‘Use of non-chemical measures’ you can also add any other measures you take.
Table 6: Monitoring resistance
In the last table you can list the measures you take to monitor resistance to pests, diseases and fungi. Alongside each measure you can indicate whether you use it by entering Yes/No. If you enter ‘Yes’, you can specify when you plan to use this measure in the last column.
Filling in and uploading your IPM plan
You will find the form to fill in for the IPM plan in our record-keeping environment. You can also upload it there when you have completed it.
To make things easier for you, we have recently made a sample document available. This can be found on our website. Check out this sample document to get an idea of what a completed IPM plan looks like.