June 28, 2019

How Measuring Soil Biology Fits Into A Modern Integrated Pest Management Approach

Farmers have been using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) principles across their farms for generations. Historically, the goal of IPM has been to balance ecological and economic principles to best manage pests and disease while ensuring productivity and profitability. However, there are more layers to pest management in modern agriculture, including new technology, changing consumer preferences and different business strategies that impact decision-making on the farm. To help visualize these complexities of modern day agriculture, UC Cooperative Extension Entomology and Biologics Advisor, Surendra Dara, recently published a new IPM model in the Journal of Integrated Pest Management that takes all of these factors into account.


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Historically, soil pathogens have not been well measured or quantified. Even the best IPM practitioners had to rely on scouting for plants exhibiting symptoms of pests and disease. This is a time consuming practice that only identifies infections when symptoms have manifested and are already causing production loss. In a world where agricultural technology is rapidly growing, understanding how any new information that can be used to streamline the pest management decision-making process is crucial.

Trace Genomics’ technology gives farmers a direct measurement of the soil pathogens in the environment to create actionable steps that align with the central concepts of the modern IPM model. These include:

Knowledge & Resources: Trace Genomics is a science-backed technology that gives farmers the knowledge about the microbial profile of their soil.


Pest Management: Correct identification of which soil microbes reduce productivity is critical for any farmer. With Trace Genomics, the correct cultural, biological or chemical treatment options can be selected that will be most effective on the microbes present.

Planning & Organization: Diagnosing soil microbial pathogens no longer relies on scouting for symptoms after infection has occurred, but proactively sampling to make pre-planting decisions or identify fields that require treatment.

Communication: Trace Genomics surfaces analysis on our Customer Portal, making results readily accessible for printing and download. This makes it easy to share with managers, consultants and farmers to make the most informed planting, pesticide application and cultural management practices.


Agriculture today is a complex and very challenging endeavor that requires making many decisions – including how to implement IPM strategies. Trace Genomics is the insight farmers need into the microbial influences in their soil to help drive pest and cultural management strategies that keep up with environmental, consumer and economic demands of the modern day farmer.


You can find the article “The new Integrated Pest Management Paradigm for the Modern Age” published in the Journal of Integrated Pest Management here.