- Fruits: melons
- Vegetables: beans, beets, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucurbits, eggplant, garlic, greens (leafy), leeks, onions, parsnips, peas (culinary), peppers, radishes (culinary), rutabagas, sweet corn, tomatoes, turnips, brussel sprouts
- Pest Management: biological control, biorational pesticides, botanical pesticides, chemical control, cultural control, integrated pest management, prevention, row covers (for pests), sanitation
- Production Systems: organic agriculture
Ideally, organic farming practices should be the best example of an integrated approach to pest management. However, many certified organic farmers still use an approach that merely substitutes an approved pesticide for a material used in conventional production. A high priority for vegetable farmers and agricultural educators is for scientifically reliable and easily accessible information about preventative and rescue treatments for responding to insect and disease pest problems that integrate the use of low-impact materials and best agricultural preventive practices. To address this problem, this same project team published the “Resource Guide for Insect and Disease Management” in 2005 as part of projects supported by SARE and others. We now propose to update and improve the guide by adding four other vegetable crop families and including additional cultural practices and material evaluations. A key to our approach this time is to work with farmers through farm visits and group meetings to assess their perspective on the efficacy of both new cultural practices and materials as well as those recommended in the first edition of the Guide. As with the first edition, the information presented will be scientifically based and peer reviewed efficacy studies.
Performance targets from proposal:
Of the 20 farmers involved with trainings and assessment of the resource guide, 10 will refine their production practices to eliminate or reduce pesticide use. Of the 100 farmers and educators who receive free copies of the revised guide, 25 will adopt or recommend new cultural practices that reduce pesticide use, and an additional 25 will change a pesticide material to one with less negative impact on the agroecosystem.