Pest management in ecological production of vegetables in Poland.
The present review is based on the field surveys on insect pests occurring on ecological vegetable seed farms and their control in Poland in the 2003 and 2004 growing seasons. The most important phytophagous insects identified as pests of economic importance on following crops were: broad bean: Aphis fabae and Bruchus rufimanus; onion and leek: Delia antiqua, Thrips tabaci, Acrolepiospis asectella and Lygus spp. (umbel), bean: Lygus spp.; cabbage: Brevicoryne brassicae, Delia radicum, Phyllotreta spp. Thrips tabaci, caterpillars of Pieris brassicae, Plutella xylostella and Mamestra brassicae, Ceutorrhynchus assimilis, and Lygus rugulipennis (umbel); carrot: Psila rosae, Pemphigus phenax and Lygus spp. (umbel); cucumber: Lygus spp.; on parsley: Psila rosae; and tomato: Leptinotarsa decemlineata. At present, more than 20 species of pests have to be controlled during the vegetation period. The basic recommendations for plant protection in ecological farming are: crop rotation and cultural, physical, mechanical and biological methods without applying synthetic pesticides. The natural substances used against pests in Poland are: extracts of some plants (Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium, Quasia amara, Derris ssp.), or potasium soap, sodium tetrasilicate (water glass), quartze sand and paraffin oil. The Polish law (legislation) of ecological agriculture is based on the directive of the Ministry of Agriculture (DzU nr 93, poz. 898), and is in agreement with the EU directives.