Pest problems facing today's growers are more complex than ever before and control strategies are rapidly changing. Yet agricultural producers are under tremendous pressure to maximize crop yields and do so in an environmentally - friendly manner. These factors, along with escalating production costs, pest resistance and increasing environmental regulations make the implementation of IPM programs more and more attractive.
How does IPM work?
Pest populations are continually monitored to provide information about their presence and levels of activity in the crop ecosystem. Environmental conditions are also closely tracked to predict periods favorable for disease and insect pest development. Beneficial predators and parasites as well as cultural control practices are encouraged in order to help rebalance the crop ecosystem.
What is IPM?
IPM is a federally-sanctioned approach to agriculture that promotes the use of alternative pest control methods and attempts to bring food production systems into greater ecological balance.
Crop Production Consulting
Have farmers responded?
The agricultural community has been quick to embrace IPM - because it works! Most apple growers in the Northeast have reduced pesticide use by more than 50% in the last thirty years using IPM techniques.
Are chemicals used in IPM?
Yes, but only when no other options are available and monitoring indicates that pest populations have reached economically-siginificant levels. When warranted, these materials are then selected for their safety and minimal environmental impact.
Benefits of IPM:
Increased net profits due to reduced pesticide usage
Proper timing of control measures
Decreased pressure for resistance to current pesticides
Return of naturally occuring beneficial parasites and predators
Protection against excessive crop loss in years of unforseen pest epidemics
Decreased risk of environmental contamination
Rapid implementation of latest technologies at the farm level