Chapter 11

Integrated Pest Management on Organic Farms

Record Keeping

A formal record keeping system that is consistently used while monitoring is essential to a successful IPM program. Proper monitoring should identify specific areas within a crop where pests are absent or where pests are present at levels well below those necessary to cause damage, thus preventing unnecessary control applications and expenditures. Good records can also help growers know what pest and beneficial organisms they can expect on particular crops on the farm at different times of the year. By knowing the pest history of a field and what problems exist in it during a growing season, farm managers can develop a crop production strategy to reduce pest damage. This strategy should be integrated along with other management decisions such as fertility management, tillage methods, and conservation management.

Monitoring Forms and Maps

Monitoring forms (i.e., datasheets) and even maps of field(s) are often used to record monitoring information, particularly on a large-scale basis. Disease, mite, and insect infestations can be penciled in on these maps, and movement of the infestation can be monitored. As the season progresses, pest trends develop, and a direction for pest management decisions will be seen. The goal is to set up a clear, concise way of recording and communicating all plant and pest monitoring information in order to make informed decisions as a grower.

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