Top Ten IPM Tips
Soil Management: Providing sufficient amounts of crop residue on the soil surface improves organic matter of the soil. Soil testing and applying proper amounts of fertilizer and micronutrients provides for optimum growing environment.
Cultural Practices: The pest’s environment is disrupted by rotating crops, and timely harvesting of crops. Planting cover crops can suppress weed pressure and provide nitrogen and better soil tilth.
Planting: Plant crops that have good vigor and that can tolerate or resist common problems. The timing of planting should coincide within the optimum planting dates recommended. Row spacing, intercropping, trap crops and other alternative strategies can be looked at to discourage or detract pests.
Pest Trapping: Traps that attract insects are placed near target crops. This can be done in conjunction with a larger network within state or multistate areas to track infestations of some insects. This information can be utilized later when populations reach a critical point.
Monitoring: Growers or scouts inspect representative areas of the fields regularly to determine if pests are approaching a damaging level.
Forecasting: Site specific or local weather data is consulted to predict if and when pest outbreaks will occur. Treatments can then be properly timed, preventing crop damage and saving spray applications.
Biological Controls: Growers should promote and attract many natural enemies that can inhibit pest populations. Import and use additional biologicals where cost effective.
Thresholds: Before treating, the pest population should reach a level that could cause economic damage. Until that threshold is reached, the cost of yield and quality will be far less than the cost for control.
Chemical Controls: Growers select the most effective and appropriate pesticide and properly calibrate sprayer. Weather conditions are checked prior to spraying to confirm proper coverage and minimum drift.
Record Keeping: Records of soil management, planting dates, weather data, treatments and other appropriate information are kept for future weed and pest management decisions.