Using On-farm Demonstrations to Promote Integrated Pest Management Practices in Tomato Production

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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, Auburn University, AL 36830.
  • | 2 Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, Auburn University, AL 36849-5624.
  • | 3 Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, Auburn University, AL 36830.
  • | 4 Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, Auburn University, AL 36830.
  • | 5 Agricultural Weather Information Service, P.O. Box 3267, Auburn, AL 36830.
  • | 6 Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, 105 Extension Hall, Auburn University, AL 36849-5624

The Alabama Tomato Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program was demonstrated during two growing seasons in southeastern Alabama. The program consisted of a twice-a-week insect/disease scouting service combined with a weather-timed spray program (TOM-CAST). On average, growers made four fewer insecticide applications and three to four fewer fungicide applications when following the IPM program compared to their conventional, calendar-based program. There was no apparent reduction in yield when following the IPM program. An economic analysis indicated that growers following the IPM program saved an average of $54.36/acre ($134.32/ha).

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