Agroecological crop protection
Agroecological crop protection (ACP) is the declination of agroecology to crop protection. Like agroecology, ACP has three dimensions. It is at the same time a science, an orderly strategy of cropping practices and a field of social interactions.
In its scientific dimension, ACP is a concept of crop protection based on a reasoning aiming the sustainability of agroecosystems. In its principles, ACP seeks to promote the good ecological functioning of agroecosystems, by directly or indirectly optimizing the interactions between living communities. ACP is based on three axes:
- prevention of pest outbreaks/infections/infestations and associated damages
- the increase (or preservation) of biodiversity (above and below soil surface)
- soil health recovering (or preservation).
These three complementary axes aim to promote (or preserve) the “health” of the agroecosystem to make it less sensitive to injuries caused by pests, pathogens and weeds. ACP is based on systemic, integrative and participatory scientific approaches.
In its agronomic dimension, ACP is an explicit strategy of practices to be applied in the field. It aims to implement a set of practices combined in a logical and orderly manner: compliance with regulations; landscape-scale management; farm-scale management; regular monitoring of agroecosystems; cropping system-wide preventive practices; as a last resort, curative practices. Preventive measures are a priority in ACP strategies.
The third dimension of the ACP represents a field of social interactions between different actors in agriculture and food systems. Several objectives are put forward rethinking of interactions between different forms of knowledge, ecological processes and functions; initial training and continuing education; redefining partnerships with nature for crop protection; promoting multi-actor strategies and diversification of markets for the redesign of production systems.
References to explore
Deguine J.-P., Gloanec C., Laurent P., Ratnadass A., Aubertot J.-N (Eds.). 2017. Agroecological Crop Protection. Springer Netherlands & Editions QUAE. 249 p. DOI 10.1007/978-94-024-1185-0_1
GASCON module. Agroecological Crop Protection