Integrated Pest Management

Module summary

Module code: AGRI1039
Level: 7
Credits: 30
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Natural Resources Institute
Module Coordinator(s): Richard Hopkins



This course aims:

• To provide understanding of pest activity within production systems;
• To provide a knowledge and understanding of the evolution of approaches and attitudes to crop protection in a range of production systems;
• To provide experience in practical and analytical problem solving relevant to pest management;
• To develop skills in the formulation of pest management strategies under different social, economic and agronomic production regimes and to develop decision-making skills.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course a student will be able to:

1 Reflect on the relationship between agricultural intensification and the development of the need for integrated approaches to crop protection in at least two production systems
2 Critically appreciate the importance of crop protection and a subset of crop production systems for different types of farmer, together with the gender issues in crop protection measures
3 Characterise the major components of pest management strategies and compare their relative merits for different pests and crops
4 Critically reflect on the concept of IPM by reference to case material from developing country examples and explain the causes of success and failure in particular cases (including technical and socio-economic factors)
5 Apply a range of sampling techniques for data collection and analyses, interpret results and report on the outcome

Indicative content

Pests in ecological systems
• Agricultural intensification and the increasing severity of pest problems with higher productivity, higher input costs and less tolerance of loss; general treatment of economics of pest damage;
• The nature of pest problems; the main taxa, their importance and characteristic impacts on crop plants; plant diseases transmitted by vectors, endemic and epidemic pests, their life systems and the relevance of these to pest control strategies; crop loss assessment;
• Introduced (quarantine) pests and bio-control agents.

Component technologies
• Chemical pesticides as components of pest control technologies; their advantages and disadvantages; application, physico-chemical monitoring, environmental impact; pesticide resistance, mechanisms and management;
• Cultural methods of pest management particularly in relation to small-holder systems;
• Biological control; classical approaches to biocontrol, the range and characteristics of biocontrol agents and their deployment; modern approaches to enhancement of natural regulatory systems; biopesticides;
• Alternative control technologies based on novel behaviour-modifying chemicals such as pheromones and those that modify pest physiology or growth;
• Varietal resistance; resistance and tolerance, mechanisms involved; strategies for deployment of resistance to promote durability; biotypes and races;
• Plant quarantine as a component of pest management technology.

Approaching Integrated Pest Management
• Integrating tactics to produce strategies; uptake and adoption by users, the international experience; the role of social, economic and cultural factors and policy.

Teaching and learning activity

Material will be presented through a series of lectures, mainly designed to introduce principles and concepts. Lectures will be supported by material provided on case studies requiring analysis and evaluation by students.


Method of summative assessment: Essay
Outcomes assessed:2,4,5
Grading Mode (e.g. pass/ fail; %): %
Weighting % :20%
Passmark: 50%
Word Length: Up to 2,000
Outline Details: Essay on IPM topic.

Method of summative assessment: Examination
Outcomes assessed:1,2,3
Grading Mode (e.g. pass/ fail; %): %
Weighting % :80%
Passmark: 50%
Outline Details: 3 hour exam

Nature of FORMATIVE assessment supporting student learning: Written outline draft of essay topic – feedback on draft with comments.