The terms “integrated pest control,” “pest management,” and “integrated pest management” are used more or less interchangeably. They apply to the concept of dealing comprehensively and systematically with pest problems, taking into account all significant factors and variables.
An overview of integrated pest management (IPM) includes consideration of at least 4 major points. 1) What IPM is, its objectives and goals; 2) IPM history and evolution or why we have IPM; 3) how IPM is implemented and how it works today, and 4) IPM tomorrow. To provide more than a superficial coverage of these points is not possible; however, the serious student will want to begin with a study of the literature cited in this report. This treatise will relate mainly to IPM for plant communities; however, similar programs are underway for live stock, urban systems, aquatic systems and othe
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.
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.
The ornamental horticulture industry in South Carolina has expanded significantly over the last decade. Today, concerns regarding environmental and public health, and stricter regulations of pesticide use, are creating incentives for growers to evaluate alternative methods of pest control. Nursery producers currently use an array of chemicals in an attempt to control pests including insects, weeds, and diseases. Integrated pest management (IPM) provides an opportunity to reduce chemical reliance. The overall objective of this extension program is to collect and collate information relevant to the implementation of an IPM program. The first year, 1989-90, surveys were developed to determine key factors related nursery pest management. Types of data collected included: key pest species; pest-plant relationships; grower action responses to pest problems; types and frequency of pesticide use. The second year, 1990-91, involved implementing IPM strategies such as: cultural methods; use of horticultural oils, soaps, and lower risk pesticides; and spot treatment applications to help maintain pest populations below economically damaging levels. Improvements in pest management included; reduced chemical applications, reduced associated environmental risks, and maintenance of aesthetic quality of plants.
Water analyses from all commercial tomato packinghouse dump tanks in South Carolina in 1989 revealed that heavy metals and pesticides accumulate in the dump tank water throughout the course of daily operation. The amount that accumulated varied widely as follows: esfenvalerate, 0.6 to 13.8 ppb; chlorothalonil, 0.1 to 2.85 ppm; copper, 2.0 to 7.3 ppm; manganese, 0.3 to 2.4 ppm. Contamination was lowest when growers were implementing integrated pest management (IPM) practices during production.
In 1990, tomatoes were grown under the following pest management practices: IPM protocol; modified IPM with more frequent spray; or weekly pesticide application regardless of pest pressure. In a small scale dump tank study the water used for tomatoes on the weekly spray schedule had from 2 to 10 times the amount of pesticide and metal residues found in water used for tomatoes grown under IPM. These results confirm that IPM programs can be effective in reducing residues in tomato packinghouse wastewater.
Growing a single crop species (monoculture) has dominated agricultural systems in the United States in the last 50 to 75 years. Monoculture has been favored primarily because of mechanization with concomitant reductions in production costs. Some pest management specialists have thought that monoculture of crops may lead to increased insect, nematode, and disease problems. Weed management is probably more easily accomplished in large fields with monocultured crops than in small-scale farming employing polycropping techniques.