]. The membership footprint of the SNIPM Working Group, formed to provide coordinated science-based information on integrated pest management (IPM) for nursery crop production in the southeastern United States, includes Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North
Although the concept of integrated pest management is not new, it has become a catchword in recent years for many individuals who have a deep concern for the quality of our environment. Many who are new to the field of pest control find in the concept of integrated pest management the promise that an integrated approach will in some magical way cure the environmental ills, real or imagined, that they see alising from current pest control practices. I believe it fair to say that there is both sophistication and naivete in their belief, but probably more of the latter. The problems involved in the integrated management of pests are extremely complex. Their resolution through research requires a high degree of sophistication, and no less sophistication is required of those who put integrated pest management principles into practical use.
Journal Paper 425 of the Pennsylvania State Univ., Dept. of Horticulture. This research was funded in part by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS), Philadelphia and the Penn State University, Dept. of Entomology, Integrated Pest
Programs on various aspects of integrated pest management (IPM) have been ongoing in most states for several years. Until fairly recently, however, the primary emphasis has been unidisciplinary and has centered around research activities. In 1972, implementation of state IPM programs began in an organized manner with the help of federal funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Extension Service. By 1979, USD A Extension provided over $5.4 million to new and expanding IPM programs in all 50 states (4). During this time, no parallel organized research effort was established to support this expanding implementation network. Thus, various Experiment Station and USDA groups began to examine planning and coordination mechanisms to provide for best use of research and extension resources, to seek methods of providing additional funds, and to ensure an interdisciplinary approach to IPM. The purpose of this paper is to record the events leading up to the formation of regional planning groups and describe briefly progress to date.
In response to the goals set forth in Target 2000, a long-range environmental plan for the Texas/Floral Industry developed by the TAMU Nursery/Floral Management Team in cooperation with the Texas Association of Nurserymen (TAN), an interactive, World Wide Web-based integrated pest management program (hortIPM) has been developed for commercial nursery and greenhouse growers. The objective of Target 2000 is to assist growers in initiation of innovative cultural and structural practices, which will result in the following changes by the year 2000: 1) reduce water consumption to 1990 levels; 2) reduce current fertilizer and pesticide usage by 50%; 3) lower current energy consumption by 25%; 4) reduce current solid wastes from agricultural plastics by 75%; 5) develop applications for municipal wastes and composted materials for nursery and floral crop production. More so than in any other cropping system, ornamental stock producers apply pesticides on a calendar basis regardless of pest damage to prevent cosmetic injury to their crops, thus reducing their marketability. As justification for this misuse of insecticides, growers cite the extraordinary low damage thresholds associated with their crops. Nursery and floral crops producers that have better access to educational resources and recommendations may be more inclined to follow biologically sound pest management principles. HortIPM is designed as a tool to facilitate access to pest management information and enhance IPM programs already in place. Currently, hortIPM is in the developmental phase, on the cusp of release to a number of sites for preliminary evaluation.
A mail survey was conducted in 2000 to determine awareness and use of integrated pest management (IPM) practices by nurseries in Pennsylvania. Survey participants were randomly selected from the Pennsylvania Dept. of Agriculture, Bureau of Plant Industry, list of certified nurseries. Participants answered questions pertaining to awareness of common practices, frequency that IPM practices were employed, and specifics on monitoring and pest management decision-making processes. Responses were analyzed by Cluster Analysis (SPSS Inc., Chicago), which resulted in the formation of three distinct segments. The segments were labeled “IPM Savvy” (nursery managers who were more likely to employ IPM practices); “Part-time IPMers” (nursery managers who employed some IPM strategies and were interested in future adoption of IPM practices); and “Reluctant IPMers” (nursery managers who were least likely to employ IPM strategies). The “Part-time IPMers” and “Reluctant IPMers” segments represent a substantial part of the industry (51%), who continues to have concerns about the cost, efficacy, and implementation of IPM practices into their businesses. Overall, Pennsylvania growers are aware of IPM practices; however, maintaining permanent records of pests identified and pest management strategies employed remain low. Continued education is warranted to enhance pest monitoring skills and recordkeeping along with demonstrable evidence to the cost effectiveness and marketing benefits that the implementation of IPM practices offer the nursery operators.
Achieving adoption of integrated pest management (IPM) practices by professional landscape managers is a common goal of university research and extension personnel, governmental and regulatory agencies, industry, and the public. IPM is developed and promoted through cooperation of university, state, and industry groups in research and educational programs. Publications and educational events are major means of promoting IPM to landscape professionals. While large theater-style seminars may provide the advantage of reaching as many as 500 people at one time, landscape clientele have shown favor for the smallgroup, hands-on type of seminar for application technology and IPM methodologies. The impact of research and educational programs on IPM adoption tends to be variable, depending on the pest, the potential for effective control, the control practices to be undertaken, and economic consequences. Adoption of several biological control programs has been indicated. The pesticide-use data collected from 1992 to 1994 indicate trends in reduced use of some pesticides and shifts to less toxic materials. Unfortunately, these data do not account for variability in pest activity from year to year, and not all pesticide applicators are reporting. Pressure from the public to control pests while minimizing the use of pesticides also indicates adoption of IPM. Additional evaluations are necessary to assess adoption of current and future IPM programs.
Horticulture businesses will be encouraged to hire qualified individuals with disabilities due to the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Maintaining a safe workplace is a considerable challenge due to the use and storage of restricted-use pesticides. In a vocational training program, two persons with mental disabilities were trained to be effective Integrated Pest Management scouts using systematic teaching procedures. Trainees acquired employable skills while providing a service that enabled management to reduce use of conventional pesticides on a greenhouse poinsettia crop by up to 65%.
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).
A system of mapping weed infestations in cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.) was developed that enables growers to incorporate integrated pest management practices into their weed control program. This system provides growers with information on the location of weeds and the area of weed patches, but differs from other weed mapping systems in that information on control priorities is included on the maps. Weed management efforts can then be directed to the most economically damaging weeds first. The mapping system also provides growers with a permanent record that can be used to communicate with staff and to evaluate weed management strategies.