NYS IPM 2006
Excellence-in-IPM Award Winners:
Grower Brian Reeves Receives “Excellence in IPM” Award
“When I was a kid we religiously sprayed our strawberries four times in the spring for insects,” says Brian Reeves of Reeves Farm in Baldwinsville, NY. “For quite a few years now we have sprayed our berries only one time in the spring. That’s a dramatic drop.”
Reeves Farms, begun by Reeves’ father in the 1940s, is now run by Reeves and his brother Mark using integrated pest management (IPM) methods—methods that promote least-risk solutions for pest problems. The Reeves grow strawberries, sweet corn, tomatoes, zucchini, and many other crops on 200 acres. For many years, they’ve been using full IPM methods on the strawberries and sweet corn, their largest crops, and partial IPM on the others.
But for 2007-2009, they’ve been awarded funding from the federal Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to use nutrient management and IPM practices farm-wide. “The whole farm will be fully scouted with full IPM protocol,” says Reeves.
It’s all part of the reason that the New York State IPM program has selected Reeves for an “Excellence in IPM” Award.
“Brian has dedicated countless hours to IPM in his role as chair of the Statewide IPM Grower Advisory Group,” says Curtis Petzoldt, Vegetable Coordinator for NYS IPM. “He has provided valuable advice and has helped make our program as relevant as possible to farmers.”
“Reeves Farms presents an image of perfection—neat, clean fields, high quality production of high-value vegetable crops, modern production techniques, and attention to detail,” notes Jan van der Heide of Bejo Seeds in Geneva, NY, who nominated Reeves for the award. “Even in the winter, when agricultural land can seem desolate and abandoned, Reeves Farms stands out with all its fields carefully planted in cover crops, ready and waiting for the spring.”
Reeves works closely with professional scouts trained in IPM techniques and encourages other farmers to take advantage of them. “For great IPM, you need a well-trained scout,” he says. “Get to know him or her. The rapport between the scout and the farmer is really important.”
“Then you need to have a good working knowledge of what’s the best—not the perfect—but the best remedial action you’ve got to solve your problem at this particular moment in time,” Reeves says. “Decisions have to be made very quickly. You get as good as you put in.”
“Brian has made IPM a natural part of farming,” says van der Heide. “He demonstrates that producing high-quality foods, making money, and limiting the impact of farming on the environment are essential elements of living in the 21st century.”
Reeves receives his award at the New York Fruit and Vegetable Conference in Syracuse, NY, which takes place February 14-15, 2007.