Submitted to: Proceedings, IOBC
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: October 5, 2009
Publication Date: October 10, 2009
Citation: Greenberg, S.M., Bradford, J.M., Adamczyk Jr, J.J., Zibilske, L.M. 2009. IPM systems on organic sweet corn in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Proceedings, IOBC. p. 259-263. Technical Abstract: IPM is an ecosystem-based strategy focused on long-term prevention of pests or their damage through a combination of tactics, including: Biological Control, Cultural Control, Habitat Manipulation, Use of Resistant Varieties, and Judicious Use of Soft Pesticides. An IPM approach is well-suited for organic production. Pest management in an organic system is based on prevention. The goals are to have a healthy, balanced plant and soil system in which pest populations will stay within tolerable limits. Major pest problems usually occur when something is out of balance in the system (for example: nutrient imbalance, soil too wet or dry, not effective crop rotation, etc.). In a conventional system, synthetic pesticides may help a grower save the current crop from an immediate pest problem; however, in many cases, the problem recurs or another develops. There is no guarantee that, once an organic system is established, there will never be a disease, weed, or insect problem. Stressful conditions that a grower cannot control will occur, such as weeks of endless rains, droughts, hurricanes, or hail, and periods of extremely high temperatures. In that IPM system will not be effective. However, an organic system should progressively have fewer pest problems as years go by. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) may be considered a key component of an organic sweet corn system. IPM is ecologically sound, economically viable, socially just, and humane. These four goals for IPM can be applied to all aspects of any agricultural system of an organic sweet corn, from production and marketing to processing and consumption.