Integrated pest management (IPM) combines a host of practices that keep vegetable crops healthy while minimally impacting human health, the environment, or profits. IPM requires a knowledge of the crops and associated pests so that general farm practices may be tailored to minimize them, and that control intervention, when necessary, will integrate the most appropriate methods.
Growers successfully using IPM combine the following factors:
- Knowledge of host plants and their associated weeds, pests, and beneficial organisms (including identification, biology, and life cycle).
- Conduct day-to-day practices to minimize pest problems (such as crop rotation, resistant varieties, composting soil, promotion of beneficial predators, and sanitation).
- Monitor for pests, symptoms, and beneficial organisms.
- Chemical use only when pest thresholds are reached .
- Integrate non-chemical control tactics (mechanical, cultural, biological controls).
- Keep records of monitoring results, treatments applied, and treatment results.