Increasing Utilization of IPM Tools in the NYS Christmas Tree Industry 2012
Project Leader: Elizabeth Lamb, NYS IPM, Cornell University
Most NYS Christmas tree growers use some aspects of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in their production, but in a 2007 survey over 50% of the 155 respondents said they would like additional training in IPM practices and pest identification. Demonstration of practices on-farm combined with a comparison of current and improved practices is one of the best ways to expand use of IPM to a wider audience of Christmas tree growers. On-farm projects also provide a way of collecting real world data on potential economic and environmental benefits of improving pest management through the increased use of IPM tools. The long-term objective of this project was to increase the use of available IPM tools by Christmas tree growers in NYS based on current NYS Christmas tree growers' use of IPM and knowledge gained while working with them to expand their level of adoption. Using knowledge gained from 10 growers and at 4 on-farm Open Houses, we created a plan for the development of educational materials and how to extend them to continue the expansion of IPM and the production of quality trees by NYS growers in the future. As before, we found that most growers use some IPM tools but all could increase the level of IPM they use. We have a better idea of which areas are likely to be productive and some educational methods to encourage them. We also see some preliminary indications that increasing IPM is reducing pesticide use for Christmas tree farmers.