The landscape/nursery/turfgrass industry is the largest agricultural industry in New Jersey, as well as one of the highest users of pesticides. In the lawn-care industry alone, more than 906,000 lbs of active ingredient of pesticides was used in 1990. Landscape Integrated Pest Management (LIPM) tactics have been commercially proven to reduce pesticide usage; however, adoption of LIPM has been slow. In 1993-94, a survey of 425 landscape contractors, arborists, groundskeepers, nurserymen, and turfgrass professionals was taken to determine attitudes toward adoption of LIPM tactics. Business changes, marketing, customer perceptions, educational needs, and attitudes toward alternative control tactics were assessed. Results show that the majority of landscapers are interested in LIPM for personal reasons, to reduce their own contact with pesticides. Contractors favor pesticide products that are cost effective and proven as opposed to environmentally “safe.” Concerns inhibiting LIPM adoption include potential customer dissatisfaction, recovering monitoring costs, and inadequate control. Challenges lie ahead in pest identification and control education, marketing programs, delays in profits, and writing bids.
The largest agricultural industry in New Jersey is the commercial landscape/nursery/turfgrass industry; it is also one of the highest users of pesticides. In the lawn care industry alone, >906,000 lb of pesticides (active ingredients) were used in 1990. A proven way to commercially reduce pesticide usage while maintaining landscape quality is through Landscape Integrated Pest Management (LIPM) tactics; however, adoption of LIPM nationally has been slow. In 1994–95, a survey of 525 landscape contractors, arborists, groundskeepers, and turfgrass professionals was conducted to determine attitudes towards adoption of LIPM tactics. Customer perceptions, products utilized, educational needs, and attitudes toward alternative control tactics were assessed. Results show the majority of landscapers do not wish to spray pesticides, and do utilize good horticultural methods. However, purchasing traditional pesticide products that are cost-effective and proven are favored relative to environmentally “safe” and new. Concerns constraining LIPM adoption include potential for customer dissatisfaction, recovering monitoring costs, increased knowledge requirement for LIPM tactics, and fear of inadequate control.
Phytophthora wilt, caused by the root-infecting fungus Phytophthora cinnamomi, is a serious disease of rhododendron. The symptoms of this disease include wilt, dieback, and death of nursery cuttings as well as large plants. The effects of two soil additives, Supersorb (a hygrogel) and Aquagro (a wetting agent), with and without Metalaxyl (Subdue 2E), were assessed on decreasing the incidence of Phytophthora wilt in container grown `Nova Zembla' rhododendron. Rooted cuttings grown in amended or non-amended mix were inoculated with P. cinnamomi. Metalaxyl treatments were applied once at the full label rate of 4 fl oz/100 gal at planting, or twice (at planting and 8 wks later) at 1 or 2 fl oz/100 gal. Trials were conducted from June to September in the greenhouse (1990) and outdoors (1991). Plant growth and disease incidence were evaluated weekly. In both trials, the Supersorb and Aquagro treatments did not affect disease incidence, although they did significantly affect plant growth. All metalaxyl treatments reduced disease incidence significantly when compared to controls.