On-Farm Integrated Pest Management Trials for 1995

For the third consecutive year, ISU specialists Mark Gleason and Donald Lewis will coordinate on-farm trials of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) methods for control of diseases and insect pests. The crops involved this year, and the disease/insect problems targeted, are as follows:

Apples Scab, fire blight, codling moth
Strawberries Gray mold, tarnished plant bug
Tomatoes Early blight, Septoria leaf spot, anthracnose
Cucurbits Anthracnose, gummy stem blight, Alternaria blight

How do the on-farm trials work? Cooperating growers agree to use IPM tactics to time fungicide and/or insecticide sprays on part or all of their planting. ISU provides technical help and the minimal hardware needed to monitor weather, trap insects, and so on. The grower monitors the weather and, where possible, insect populations. ISU scouts and specialists provide scouting services where needed and advice at any time. The grower is also asked to provide pesticide spray records (what was sprayed, when it was sprayed, and rates used) for the test area. The ISU scouts will assess the crop for damage at midseason and again at harvest. At the end of the season, cooperators receive a report summarizing their cooperative trial.

The IPM methods in these cooperative trials are well tested through years of grower use in Iowa and many other locations. Cooperators find that the methods involve very little additional work for them. The biggest incentive is that the IPM methods can save pesticide sprays. An average reduction of 30% in sprays - with no increase in insect or disease damage to the crop - is common, but spray savings can be higher or lower depending on weather and pest populations and past spray practices. Fewer sprays translates to greater profitability.

Over 30 growers are involved in the 1995 on-farm IPM trials. These include:

Harold and Jo Dilts, Ames (tomatoes)
Willie Pate, Madrid (strawberries)
Jim Andersen, Tiffin (apples)
Bill Christiansen, Newell (apples)
Chug Wilson, Iowa City (apples)
Russ and Jim Small, Mondamin (apples, tomatoes)
Marywood Orchard, Indianola (apples)
Forest Johnson, Mechanicsville (apples)
Marvin and Carol Faeth, Fort Madison (apples)
Dean Henry, Nevada (apples, strawberries)
Don Morse, Council Bluffs (tomatoes)
Dave Myers, Waterloo (strawberries)
Bill Kimble, Pella (strawberries)
Lloyd and Natalie Vandemark, Woodbine (apples)
Mark Stumpenhorst, Stratford (tomatoes)
Bob Atha, Marshalltown (apples)
John Mather, Cedar Rapids (apples)
Pella Nursery Co., Pella (apples)
Deb Galyon, Ankeny (strawberries)
Craig Sears, Cedar Rapids (apples)
Larry Black, Ames (apples)
Greg Baedke, Ft. Dodge (apples, strawberries)
Naomi Maahs, Adel (strawberries)
Max Hagen, Cedar Rapids (strawberries)
Jerald Deal, Jefferson (apples)
Sue Motzko, Norwalk (apples)
Mark and Lynn Fevold, Iowa Falls (apples)
Emil Chalupsky and Bill Hurley, Vinton (apples)
Richard Brobst, Perry (strawberries)
John Brinkmeyer, Hubbard (apples)
Steve Demuth, Seed Savers Exchange, Decorah (apples)

In addition, several melon growers in the Muscatine area will be involved in cooperative trials for disease control on watermelon and muskmelon.

Grower survey. A written survey will be mailed to all Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (IFVGA) members in late summer, in order to help us measure the impact of our IPM on-farm trials and education efforts. They are an essential part of our project, and will help us to secure grant funds to support future IPM efforts in Iowa.

Videos. With help from ISU Extension Communications, we plan to develop two videotapes on IPM themes this summer. One will focus on the on-farm IPM trials for four crops, while the other will focus exclusively on strawberry IPM. Both videos will incorporate extensive footage from the on-farm trial sites at various stages in the crop cycle from bloom through harvest.

County and field staff involvement. We hope that Extension staff in county and field specialist positions will take an interest in these cooperative trials. We, or your local cooperating grower, can provide additional information about the trials. We'd welcome any media interest in these efforts to minimize pesticide use while maintaining or enhancing profitability. Please let us know if we can help in any way.

This article originally appeared in the May 5, 1995 issue, pp. 995 issue, pp. 56-57.


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