Rules for a successful nursery IPM program

Sylvia A. Shives, Katherine Oliver


Implementing an integrated pest management (IPM) program in your nursery can be very rewarding. You and your workers are exposed to less toxic pesticides, and you know that you are doing your best to preserve the environment. You can advertise your plants as grown without pesticides, if none are used. And you may save money if you practice IPM properly. Plus you will not have to worry about pesticide licenses or pesticide laws. You can be very successful if IPM is handled properly. If you ignore the rules, IPM can end up as a disaster. It depends on whether you follow the “rules.” I have developed these “rules” after many years of working with nurseries attempting to implement IPM with some failures and many successes. These rules include: 1) Keep spray records for at least 6 weeks before using any beneficials. 2) Start with a small test area to prove to yourself that this can work. 3) Be honest with yourself and/or your consultant. 4) Know which chemicals you can use and which you should not use. Plan your program with the knowledge of the effects the chemicals can have on your IPM plan. 5) Use of IPM does not mean that you cannot use chemicals. 6) Be consistent. If you agree to suspend the use of certain chemicals, follow through. In my experience, this is the broken law that causes most IPM programs to fail. In my experience, anyone can have a successful IPM program if they follow basic rules.

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283