What is IPM?
Integrated Pest Management is an ecologically-based approach to managing pests with an emphasis on natural and cultural control processes and methods, including host plant resistance and biological control. These pest management and production practices should contribute to a system that produces an abundant and diverse supply of food and fiber products. IPM also reaches beyond agriculture to include pest management in landscape and home settings.
The focus of IPM is on prevention, avoidance, monitoring and suppression of pests, chemical pesticides are used only where and when the above measures fail to keep pests below damaging levels. All interventions are need-based and are applied in ways that minimize economic, health, and environmental risks. The IPM approach may be viewed as a continuum of increasing levels of intervention. In the initial stages, an IPM program may involve a few strategies such as pest scouting and use of pesticide action thresholds. As the practitioner gains knowledge and experience, the IPM program evolves towards a more biointensive system where the emphasis is on preventive measures to limit pest pressure and enhance biological controls.