IPM News Updates
- CT Vegetable and Small Fruit Growers Conference 2024The 2024 Connecticut Vegetable and Small Fruit Growers’ Conference will be held at the UConn Student Union in Storrs, CT on Tuesday, January 9; stay tuned for more info!
- June 2023 Crop TalkThe June 2023 issue of Crop Talk is available. The issue includes the following articles: Beware of Hopperburn! Newly Registered Pesticides for Vegetable Production in Connecticut Understanding Spring Frosts: Critical Temperatures, Freeze Injury, and Frost Protection in Connecticut Fruit Orchards
- 2023 Vegetable Production Certificate CourseWe’re offering a Vegetable Production Certificate Course, beginning on January 30th 2023. It is a fully online course for new and beginning farmers who have 0-3 years of vegetable growing experience or no formal training in agriculture. The participants will learn answers to the basic questions about farm business planning, planning and preparing for vegetable farm, warm and cool-season vegetable production techniques, season extension, identification of […]
The UConn Extension IPM Program Educates People in Connecticut
The UConn IPM program educates growers and the general public about the judicious and safe use of organic and synthetic pesticides and alternative pest control methods. The program incorporates all possible crop management and pest management strategies through knowledgeable decision-making, utilizing the most efficient landscape and on-farm resources, and integrating cultural and biological controls. Program objectives include maintaining the economic viability of agricultural and green industry businesses, enhancing and conserving environmental quality and natural resources, educating participants on pests (life cycles, damage, management options, etc.) and on the effective use of cultural practices to mitigate pest problems, of biological control agents, and educating pesticide users about bee and other pollinator safe materials, least toxic options, and the safe use and handling of organic and synthetic pesticide products.
IPM educational programs provide information on pest management alternatives through field training, conferences, workshops, and publications. Regular pest alerts are also provided through email and the IPM Web site. IPM partners and collaborators include State and Federal agricultural and environmental/non-governmental agencies and organizations; State, New England, and Northeastern fruit, greenhouse, grounds keepers, nursery, turf, landscape, and vegetable associations; industry suppliers/dealers; regional universities; educators; schools and municipalities; individual growers, farmers, and producers; Master Gardeners; and the general public.
What is Integrated Pest Management (IPM)?
Integrated pest management (IPM) is a sustainable approach to the management of plant pests (diseases, insects, mites, weeds (including invasive plants), and wildlife). IPM is holistic and science-based, emphasizing long-term solutions that are effective, economical, ecologically viable, and socially acceptable. IPM begins prior to planting a landscape or an agricultural or horticultural crop through education to understand the key factors that promote healthy plants and help to reduce future potential pest problems. Through sound cultural practices, IPM practitioners base decisions on information that is collected systematically, to minimize risks to human health and the environment.
Cultural controls involve the manipulation of the pests' biological and physical environment to make it less suitable. Examples include proper planting, pruning, maintaining proper soil pH, crop rotation, sanitation, and irrigation/water management.
Biological control is the use of living organisms, such as parasitoids (parasites), predators, or pathogens to suppress a pest population. Ladybeetles are common examples of predators employed in biological control. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is a well-known bacterial insect pathogen employed in many IPM programs.
Host Plant Resistance
Host plant resistance involves the use of plant cultivars that have inherited characteristics that defend the plants against pest attack. The use of resistant cultivars is an important step in plant pathogen, nematode, and insect pest management.
Behavioral modification tactics involve the use of visual, chemical, or auditory stimuli to influence or disrupt normal pest behavior. Examples range from scare tactics, such as the old-fashion scarecrow, to the modern uses of sex pheromone mating disruption for insect pest
Physical and Mechanical Controls
Physical controls involve the use of physical barriers to deter or kill a pest, such as exclusion netting, and kaolin clay. Mechanical control includes the use of sticky traps, fences, row covers, machinery, or manual labor (i.e., for weeding).
Chemical pesticides play a role when other preventive steps fail to avoid damage to the managed resource or to protect human health. Economic thresholds have been established for many pests. Pesticides are used only after documenting that they are needed according to established guidelines.
The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) defines pesticides as any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any insects, rodents, nematodes, fungi or weeds, or any other forms of life declared to be pests.
It also includes as pesticides any substance or mixture of substances intended for use as a plant regulator, defoliant, or desiccant. Horticultural oil, insecticidal soaps, and minimum risk products are also regulated as pesticides under FIFRA. The use of pesticides requires a careful
assessment of organic or synthetic chemicals and biorational pesticides. Those which pose the lowest risk to human health, non-target species, and the environment, while achieving effective control, are chosen.
Regulatory control refers to state and federal regulations that prevent the spread of pest organisms. It may include quarantine programs or mandated bans.