Field sanitation is an important and highly effective farm practice to keep most pests under control.
What to do?
- Use sterilized or diseased-free seeds for sowing.
- Properly select healthy plants for transplanting.
- Keep weeds under control at all times. Keep the surroundings of your farm free of weeds, unless they are maintained and intended as habitat for natural enemies.
- Make yourself 'clean'. Always bear in mind that you might be the carrier of the pests while you move from one plant to another.
- Pull plants that are heavily infected with insect pests and those that are showing heavy symptoms of disease
- Prune the plant parts where insect pests are found congregating and those that are showing heavy symptoms of disease infection.
- Properly dispose all the infested plants. Do not put them on compost pile.
- Pick rotten fruits and collect those that dropped. Diseased and pest infested fruits must be properly disposed. Do not put them on compost pile.
- Plow-under the crop residues and organic mulches. This improves the soil condition and helps disrupt the pest's lifecycle. The pest is exposed to extreme temperature, mechanical injury, and predators.
- Maintain cleanliness on the irrigation canals.
- When possible, remove all the crop residues after harvest. Add these to your compost pile.
- Make your own compost. Your compost pile is where you can place your plant
trimmings and other plant debris.
- Clean your farm tools. Wash plows, harrows, shovels, trowels, pruning gears, bolos after use. Lightly oil pruning gears.
- Brooklyn Botanic Garden. (1999): Natural insect control: The ecological gardener's guide to foiling pests. Handbook # 139. Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Inc. Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, NY.
- Brooklyn Botanic Garden. (2000): Natural disease control: A common-sense approach to plant first aid. Handbook # 164. Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Inc. 1000 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, NY.
- Daxl, R.; von Kayserlingk, N.; Klien-Koch, C.; Link, R.; Waibel, H. (1994): Integrated pest management: Guidelines. Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit. Eschborn,