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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Poplarville, Mississippi » Southern Horticultural Research Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #370094

Research Project: Production and Disease and Pest Management of Horticultural Crops

Location: Southern Horticultural Research Unit

Title: Economic effect of insect pest management strategies on small-scale tomato production in Mississippi

Author
item STEPHENSON, RONALD - COASTAL RESEARCH AND EXTENSION CENTER
item COKER, CHRISTINE - COASTAL RESEARCH AND EXTENSION CENTER
item BACHMAN, GARY - COASTAL RESEARCH AND EXTENSION CENTER
item POSADAS, BENEDICT - COASTAL RESEARCH AND EXTENSION CENTER
item HARKESS, RICHARD - MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY
item Adamczyk, John
item KNIGHT, PATRICIA - MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY

Submitted to: HortTechnology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2019
Publication Date: 12/5/2019
Citation: Stephenson, R.C., Coker, C.E., Bachman, G.R., Posadas, B.C., Harkess, R.L., Adamczyk Jr, J.J., Knight, P.R. 2019. Economic effect of insect pest management strategies on small-scale tomato production in Mississippi. HortTechnology. 30(1):64-75. https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTTECH04435-19.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTTECH04435-19

Interpretive Summary: Improved crop protection strategies for insect pests may significantly increase production efficiency. Pesticide use practices have changed significantly due to health and environmental concerns. Development and use of action thresholds for application of pesticides is a core element of integrated pest management. Organic production is growing as a segment of the small-scale vegetable market. Small-scale producers in Mississippi were surveyed to determine their adoption of threshold-based pesticide use strategies for conventional and organic production as well as perceived barriers to adoption of those strategies. Producers were also surveyed regarding their preferred source and format for pest management information. Responses were obtained from 54 producers from 25 counties in Mississippi. Approximately 54 percent of respondents were determined to use non-threshold based traditional practices for pest management. Lack of knowledge regarding threshold-based conventional production was a perceived barrier to adoption of that practice. Lower control intervals, difficulty in applying controls and increase in labor were considered barriers to adoption of organic production. The preferred source of information for producers was extension publications. In order to increase adoption of threshold-based insect pest management, barriers reported in this survey must be addressed. Development of extension programs and publications directly targeting small-scale producers would be of benefit.

Technical Abstract: Improved crop protection strategies for insect pests may significantly increase production efficiency. Pesticide use practices have changed significantly due to health and environmental concerns. Development and use of action thresholds for application of pesticides is a core element of integrated pest management. Organic production is growing as a segment of the small-scale vegetable market. Small-scale producers in Mississippi were surveyed to determine their adoption of threshold-based pesticide use strategies for conventional and organic production as well as perceived barriers to adoption of those strategies. Producers were also surveyed regarding their preferred source and format for pest management information. Responses were obtained from 54 producers from 25 counties in Mississippi. Approximately 54 percent of respondents were determined to use non-threshold based traditional practices for pest management. Lack of knowledge regarding threshold-based conventional production was a perceived barrier to adoption of that practice. Lower control intervals, difficulty in applying controls and increase in labor were considered barriers to adoption of organic production. The preferred source of information for producers was extension publications. In order to increase adoption of threshold-based insect pest management, barriers reported in this survey must be addressed. Development of extension programs and publications directly targeting small-scale producers would be of benefit.