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Integrated Pest Management

Special form of plant protection in agriculture or viticulture with the inclusion or integration of various measures (principles and general information are described under the keyword organic viticulture, the study of which is also recommended as a preparation for the complex topic). Through a well coordinated combination of economically, ecologically and toxicologically suitable methods, high-quality products are to be produced in an economically justifiable way, while protecting resources and preserving biodiversity (species diversity). The overall objective is to intervene as little and as gently as possible in the ecological balance.

There are also the designations IP (Integrated Production/Plant Protection) and/or KIP (Controlled Integrated Production) and colloquially also the terms close to nature or environmentally friendly viticulture, which are by definition imprecise. Internationally, the term IPM (Integrated Pest Management) is commonly used. Integrated viticulture is a method for the economic production of high-quality grapes, wine and other grape products. By considering the "vineyard ecosystem" as a whole, all measures have been incorporated into Integrated Pest Management (Integrated Production).

The use of chemical plant protection products that are gentle on beneficial organisms should be targeted and should be replaced or supplemented by biological, biotechnical and mechanical measures wherever possible. They are only used in compliance with the damage threshold if all other methods have not been successful. The principles of biological plant protection are also taken into account as far as possible. The conventional plant protection methods used in the past with the aim of destroying as many pests as possible, some of them with extensive environmental pollution, have thus become obsolete.

Under special consideration of plant breeding, biological, biotechnical, as well as cultivation and cultural measures, the use of chemical plant protection agents (insecticides or pesticides) is limited to the absolutely necessary extent. The aim is to limit the population of harmful insects and prevent the spread of weeds and vine diseases. The permissible pesticides are determined specifically by the countries or organic farming associations.

However, plant protection begins with the selection of the most suitable location for the vine. Furthermore, this also includes proper soil cultivation, the choice of a suitable planting date, the use of healthy seed or planting material or vine varieties that are resistant to harmful organisms (e.g. PIWI = fungus-resistant), as well as balanced organic or mineral fertilization.

Integrated Pest Management in an even stricter form with regard to the plant protection products permitted in this respect is a component of organic viticulture. Further restrictions on fertilization, even more restrictive handling with complete renunciation of chemical agents lead to even more comprehensive practices. This is the case to a different extent with the two special forms of Biodynamic and Bioenergetic Viticulture.

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