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An IPM Year

Soil Preparation: Growers give their plants a head start on pest problems by choosing the proper site, testing the soil, rotating crops, creating raised beds where necessary, and providing sufficient organic matter.

Planting: Growers plant crops that tolerate common problems, altering planting time and spacing to discourage certain diseases and insects.

Forecasting: Weather data is consulted to predict if and when pest outbreaks will occur. Treatments can then be properly timed, preventing crop damage and saving sprays.

Pest Trapping: Traps that are attractive to insects are used so that growers can pinpoint when the pest has arrived and decide whether control is justified

Monitoring: Growers inspect representative areas of the fields regularly to determine whether pests are approaching a damaging level.

Thresholds: Before treating, growers wait until pest populations reach a scientifically determined level that could cause economic damage. Until that threshold is reached, the cost of yield and quality loss will be less than the cost for control.

Cultural Controls: The pest's environment it then disrupted by turning under crop residues, sterilizing greenhouse tools, and harvesting early.

Biological Controls: It is necessary for growers to conserve the many beneficial natural enemies already at work. They import and use additional biologicals where effective.

Chemical Controls: Growers select the most effectivve and appropriate pesticide and properly calibrate sprayers. They then verify that weather conditions will permit good coverage without undue drift.

Recordkeeping: Records of pest traps, weather and treatment are kept for use in pest management decisions.