Development and Demonstration of an IPM Protocol for Fresh-Market and Processing Tomatoes 1997
Project Leader: Abby Seaman
1. Revise the IPM protocols developed last season based on our field experiences and on new information obtained since that time.
2. Set up side-by-side demonstrations at five locations comparing grower practices with the IPM protocols.
3. Identify needed improvements in the protocol to incorporate in future versions.
4. Evaluate tomato quality at harvest, number of insecticide and fungicide sprays, environmental impact, and cost of adopting IPM practices compared with the growers' current practices.
Demonstrations were conducted in six fresh-market and two processing tomato fields. The main focus was the TOM-CAST disease forecasting program, which provides information to schedule fungicide applications for early blight, Septoria leaf spot, and anthracnose. Thresholds for Colorado potato beetle and aphids were also demonstrated, as well as management practices for fungal and bacterial diseases not covered by TOM-CAST. With one exception, fruit quality at harvest was as good in the IPM areas of the fields as in the grower-managed areas. The one exception was due to a weather monitor malfunction and to microclimate differences between the location of the weather monitor and that of the field, resulting in high levels of early blight. Environmental impact quotients were somewhat lower in the IPM-managed areas than in the grower-managed ones, although average pest management costs were higher.