IPM and Pesticides: the elephant in the room

With some of the articles I’ve seen in the agricultural media so far this week on organic, GMO and conventional farming, I thought it was time to address one of the major elephants in the room when it comes to public perception of integrated pest management: the fact that IPM allows the use of pesticides.

Because pesticides are only one tool in the IPM toolbox, few of the articles I read about IPM cover them directly. In IPM, the use of pesticides is, or at least should be, directly related to the action threshold. For most pests of agricultural products, the threshold is a published number that lets the farmer know how many pests that should be present before any treatment begins. For a refresher on the steps for IPM, see my blog post from October on the different farming practices.

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