Integrated pest management (lPM) is an ecosystem-based strategy that focuses on long-term suppression of pest abundance and prevention of pest damage through a combination of control strategies. Management actions are taken according to established guidelines or action thresholds after monitoring indicates that control action is warranted. IPM requires knowledge of pest life cycles and pertinent biology and an understanding of crop production. Pesticides when warranted are selected and applied in ways that minimize risks to workers and other persons, beneficial and nontarget organisms, and the environment (e.g., air and water quality). The goal is to suppress the abundance of, or exclude or remove, only the target organism(s) while maintaining the economic viability of the cropping system. Collectively all measures taken under an IPM strategy should attempt to minimize economic crop losses and environmental impact while simultaneously minimizing control efforts such that overall profitability is maximized.
Key components of an IPM program in general order of implementation are:
- Take preventive control measures, the start-clean and grow-clean strategy.
- Monitor crops regularly.
- Accurately identifying pests and their natural enemies and correctly diagnose the cause(s) of plant problems.
- Develop thresholds or guidelines for when and how to take control actions.
- Take appropriate and effective actions, generally both non-chemical and chemical controls in combination.
For more information see What is Integrated Pest Management (IPM), For Retail Nurseries & Garden Centers, and University of California (UC) Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) printed publications that include Container Nursery Production and Business Management Manual, Integrated Pest Management for Floriculture and Nurseries, and Water, Root Media, and Nutrient Management for Greenhouse Crops.