Tiny Farm School - IPM (Integrated Pest Management)
Since it's back-to-school season we thought we'd share an interesting bit of farm school with you. Today's lesson? IPM!
You’re probably familiar with the term “organic,” but allow us to introduce you to another great growing method: IPM (or integrated pest management). If you’ve tasted the goodness of this week’s local pears from Kauffman’s Fruit Farm, you have IPM to thank!
IPM is a thoughtful, multi-faceted approach that focuses on natural ways to minimize the impact of pests on crops, thus greatly reducing the need for chemical intervention.
Beginning with the close, regular monitoring of more than 50 pests in the orchard (most field-crop farmers only focus on a few pests for a given crop), the folks at Kauffman's use their findings to establish pest population tolerance and use weather data to forecast pest pressure before carefully targeting their methods of pest control.
1. “Beneficials:” Employing the help of certain species of birds, mammals, plants, insects, arachnids and micro-organisms to biologically counteract or prey on existing pests
2. Horticultural practices: Choosing disease-resistant varieties, using careful pruning methods and promoting soil fertility and tree health
3. Behavior modification: Introducing mating disruption pheromones for certain pests
Cool stuff, right?!