How Does IPM Work?
Updated: Oct 12, 2020
1. Develop a robust and comprehensive IPM Plan
2. Train your team.
3. Implement the plan by repeating the IPM cycle:
Combine management practices (ie, integrating different control methods) to prevent pest and pathogen pressures from reaching problematic levels. Those levels (the “treatment thresholds”) and the best responsive measures for them are determined in advance and outlined in your IPM plan.
Scout & analyze the data
Scouting is crop-walking! It’s perhaps the most important aspect of successful IPM. A trained pair of eyes is important. CropWalk suggests daily scouting for most operations. Collect data systematically from plants, structures, trap crops, sticky cards, etc. And analyze that data for trends weekly.
Respond according to plan
Commonly misused terms in IPM are "Treatment Threshold" and "Economic Injury Level," both of which are very important concepts. While often used synonymously or otherwise misunderstood, "treatment thresholds" (aka action thresholds) describe pest densities at which certain actions are taken to prevent reaching the "economic injury level," or the smallest number of pests present (or pressure exerted in damage) that will cause yield losses equal to the pest management options outlined in the treatment thresholds of your IPM plan. That's a mouth full. But worth understanding if you're trying to save money while making money growing plants.