University of Vermont

 Untitled Document

Vermont IPM: Integrated Pest Management for Vermont
“The Multi-disciplinary Vermont Extension Implementation Program Addressing Stakeholder Priorities and Needs for 2014-2017”

Priority Area: IPM Implementation in Specialty Crops - Greenhouse

Click here for the Greenhouse IPM website


In 2012, the VT value of sales from nursery and greenhouse crops was $118 million (USDA 2013a). There were 4,551 farms involved in the floriculture industry which comprised 62% of the total farms and 23% of the revenue from sales. From 2007-2012, the market value increased 80%, and the number of farmers involved in this industry increased by 12%. The value of nursery and greenhouse crops in ME and NH in 2012 was $474 million and $101 million, respectively (USDA 2013b,c). There were 4,899 farms involved in the floriculture industry in ME, and 2,356 in NH comprising 60% of the total farms and 62.1% of the revenue from sales of this commodity. From 2007-2012, the market value increased 45% in ME and 4% in NH (USDA 2013b,c). Ornamental crops are a critical component of many vegetable farms in NE, some receiving >20% of their revenues from bedding plants. Ornamentals have minimal tolerance for pests and diseases. This industry is one of the heaviest pesticide users on an active ingredient/sq.ft. basis. Growers’ heavy reliance on chemical pesticides is not sustainable, nor desirable from an economic, human health, or environmental perspective. The cost to produce high quality greenhouse ornamentals is rising. Growers need help implementing IPM to weather current economic and pest challenges. The Tri-State Greenhouse IPM Advisory Group, comprising growers, researchers, Extension personnel and State Agriculture Agency staff, was established in 1997 to address stakeholder IPM needs in ME, NH and VT. Through this collaboration, grower surveys from IPM workshops and one-on-one consultations have shown adoption of IPM has increased significantly; the use of biocontrol increased from ~20% in 2007 to over 70% in 2014 (Skinner & Sullivan 2014). Growers’ needs assessments were conducted in ME, NH and VT workshops and through personal interviews to guide future IPM activities resulting in the focus of this proposal. The overall goal of the Greenhouse Ornamentals IPM program is to enhance environmental sustainability and profitability of the greenhouse ornamentals industry in ME, NH and VT by increasing growers’ adoption of IPM. The focus of this 3-year program, based on stakeholder responses from previous Tri-State Greenhouse IPM workshops, is to increase adoption of plant-mediated IPM systems, a cost-effective IPM tactic using aphid banker plants, habitat plants and trap plants to reduce pest populations and costs of production through bio-controls. Two approaches will to increase adoption of plant mediated IPM systems.

Approach -

1. IPM First for Greenhouse Ornamentals, a statewide individualized grower program, which includes underserved growers in southern and northern VT. Each year, 8-10 growers interested in expanding their use of IPM will be recruited to take part in “IPM First.” One grower from each operation will be identified to work on IPM linked to this program. All new growers will complete a pre-training survey to identify their current level of knowledge of plant-mediated systems and basic IPM competence with pest management. Program leaders will review the responses with growers to identify specific measurable objectives and select the appropriate plant-mediated system(s) applicable to their operation. UVM personnel will visit each grower monthly to provide one-on-one instruction and support on selecting, adopting and using plant-mediated IPM systems. Each operation will be given a binder with factsheets on the IPM systems, insect and biological control id, disease id and management, fertilizer and nutrition information and scouting forms.

2. Tri-State Greenhouse IPM Workshops. IPM workshop for growers offered in ME, NH and VT. From past workshops, >90% of participants learned new IPM techniques they will use in the coming year which will reduce their use of chemical pesticides. Attendees will take part in hands-on IPM demonstrations and receive IPM information packets focusing on plant-mediated IPM systems. Growers will be made aware of the Plant Diagnostic Clinics in each state as a resource for disease, insect and weed diagnosis and IPM recommendations. Presentations and information on plant-mediated systems will be posted and expanded upon on the Greenhouse IPM website and through the GreenGrower listserv.

Last modified May 10 2017 01:56 PM

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