The Fruit Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program is an educational delivery program for commercial fruit growers in New Jersey. IPM brings together all management techniques to manage pest populations below economically damaging levels. IPM includes many aspects of crop management, and may also be called integrated crop management or ICM.
Objectives of the Fruit IPM Program
- Help fruit growers produce top quality crops, limiting or reducing production costs.
- Educate growers, field scouts, industry workers, and others interested in fruit IPM practices.
- Bring together all pest and crop management practices into a set of commercially used methods. These include the use of: pesticides, economic threshold levels, pest phenology models, resistant varieties, optimum horticultural practices, weather monitoring, pest scouting, and fertility monitoring and recommendations.
- Conduct research/demonstration programs that further the adoption of IPM methods.
Applied Management Practices
An integrated approach relies on a solid monitoring foundation. In order to be fully functional, monitoring results must be evaluated and result in applied management practices. The resulting practices can be classified into different types, with specific practices for each crop grouped under each practice type. A fully integrated program will consist of the following ten types of practices:
- Cultural and irrigation practices.
- Soil and nutrient management.
- Proper pesticide application and record keeping.
- Insect/Arthropod pest management.
- Disease pest management.
- Weather and crop monitoring.
- Vertebrate pest management.
- Weed and ground cover management.
- Biologically intensive pest reduction strategies.
Crop-Specific IPM Definitions for New Jersey:
The Rutgers Fruit IPM Program is designed to help fruit growers produce top quality fruit by the most economical means possible. Growers may not wish to or be able to follow all practices, but a majority of practices should be followed if the production method is to be defined as an IPM program. To give growers guidelines for these practices, we have developed crop-specific definitions for fruit IPM in New Jersey. For a given fruit crop, each practice is outlined with specific elements that have been given an assigned point value. Where there is no point value assigned, the practice is considered mandatory.
Grower Participation in the Fruit IPM Program:
Rutgers Cooperative Extension provides commercial growers participating in the Fruit IPM Program with specialized services, including weekly monitoring by field scouts. These scouts monitor orchards and blueberry fields for pest activity. Fertility levels are monitored with leaf tissue samples taken from mid-July through mid-August and soil samples taken during Late-September. Plant parasitic nematodes are also monitored with soil samples. A fulltime staff helps survey fruit quality for levels of pest damage and pesticide use records that are collected at the end of each season. These records are analyzed and compared with seasonal pest levels and fruit quality. Data is entered and analyzed with a relational database called Integrated Pest Management Database (IPMD).
Growers who contribute participation fees get individual farm reports and recommendations. See location maps of participating growers for peaches, blueberry, and apple, as well as a map of all participating IPM growers in the State. See the IPMD webpage for sample information generated by IPMD. All other growers in the State receive summarized IPM information and recommendations through newsletters, broadcast faxes, articles, fact sheets, grower meetings, and the world wide web.
The Fruit Edition of the Plant & Pest Advisory, published by the Rutgers Cooperative Extension at the NJ Agricultural Experiment Station, is posted online for easy access. This website archives all releases since 1996. This information-packed periodical is published weekly during the growing season to bring growers current information when it’s most needed.
For more information contact:
Dean Polk, Statewide Fruit IPM Agent
Dept. of Agricultural and Resource Management Agents
Phone: 609 – 758-7311
RCE of Gloucester County
County Building, Delsea Drive
Clayton, NJ 0808312-1095
Rutgers Fruit Research & Extension Center
283 Route 539
Cream Ridge, NJ 08514