Rational Pesticide Use

v. 25/1/2009

| Good Agricultural Practice | Pesticide properties & issues | Better application | Biopesticides | Projects |

Integrated Crop Management (ICM) is commonly used to describe strategies that aim to optimise all available techniques in order to maintain pest populations at levels below those causing economic injury. The concepts behind the subset called Integrated Pest Management (IPM) have evolved since their beginnings in the late 1950s. It is generally agreed that one of the primary objectives is reduced reliance on (especially toxic, broad-spectrum) chemical pesticides and some believe that IPM may (or should) result in reduction or removal of chemical pesticide use. In practice, however, the pesticide industry has remained a profitable (although maturing) business of some US$ 30 billion.

The term rational pesticide use (RPU) was coined in the title of a book by Brent & Atkin (1987)*; it can be defined as a focused further subset of IPM, which attempts to mitigate the adverse effects of pesticide use by improvements in the selectivity of the products themselves and the precision of their application in both space and time. The benefits are maximised with a combination of all three, and the potential benefits include: reduction of costs (for both pesticides and labour), improved safety and reduced environmental impact (through more efficient use of sprays and the use of specific agents, including biopesticides).


In these pages we give further information and views on:

Rational Pesticide use diagram
* Brent, K.J. and Atkin, R.K. (eds.) (1987) Rational Pesticide Use. Cambridge University Press, 348 pages (now out of print).
To top