Integrated Pest Management

Integrated pest management employs several tools that can attract beneficial insects and deter pests that may damage a farmer’s crops. These tools include pollinator habitat creation, judicious pesticide use, routine pest scouting, and knowledge of insect life cycles.

Weed & Pest Management (IPM) Benefits

Increases Profits

Inputs such as mechanical cultivation, pesticides, fertilizers and tillage costs money. By using best management practices to apply these inputs when they are actually needed, growers can reduce costs. Weed and pest management can help schedule required controls at the right time to maximize the benefits of the practice. Weed and pest management can improve the bottom line for growers.

Reduces Risks

Weed and pest management results in fewer pesticide applications, at reduced rates, using the safest and most effective formulations. This minimizes the dangers associated with pesticide applications, including accidents, drift, and toxic effects on non-target species and wildlife. Scouting helps avoid unexpected pest outbreaks, which can cause heavy losses if not caught and treated.

Delays Resistance

Using the same chemical control over and over again lowers the effectiveness of that control on insect, disease and weed pests. By choosing from all possible control methods, including biologicals, beneficial organisms, and rotating among pest control methods, resistance can be prevented or delayed. Preserving the effectiveness of existing pesticides reduces costs for everyone that uses them.

Protects the Environment

By using mechanical cultivation, pesticides, fertilizers and tillage only when necessary, growers protect the environment, by reducing sediment, and polluted runoff from entering our lakes, streams and rivers. Utilizing scouting and selecting the appropriate control for the weed or pest identified, supports the biological integrity of all life on earth.

Components of a Plan

Know your pests

Today, we are armed with improved controls of weeds, insects and diseases. The arsenal of management strategies available allows for better control with less environmental risk.

Know your action thresholds

Just the presence of weeds or pests doesn’t justify the application of a control measure. The weed and pest pressure must be a threat to reduce yields or quality enough to make sense. This level of pressure to justify a control measure is called the action threshold.

Know your fields

Scouting is following a routine designed to detect a weed or pest problem that is serious enough (action threshold) to trigger a control measure.

Know your options

There are numerous approaches to effectively controlling problems. Resistant plants, cultural controls, soil amendments, beneficial insects, natural enemies, barriers, physical treatments, behavioral disruptants, biological and conventional pesticides are some of these alternatives.

For more information

The Environmental Protection Agency has further resources on IPM on their web page.