Integrated Insect, Mite and Disease Management on Vegetable Crops
2010 Ohio Vegetable Production Guide
IPM, to many people, means integrated insect and mite pest management. These are not the only pest problems. Plant pathogens and weeds are pests that can cause severe injury to most field and greenhouse-grown vegetable crops. A better term for IPM is integrated crop health management, which tends to broaden the concept for most people to include plant disease management. Whatever this system is called, it simply means that we use as many methods as possible to minimize problems caused by insects, mites and plant diseases. These methods include cultural, mechanical, physical, environmental, chemical (=pesticides), and biological controls.
The components of integrated crop health management, discussed individually below, must be used in a systematic way. All of the management tactics must include a monitoring program to detect problems before they get out of control. For insects and mites, this will mean a trapping and scouting program for pest detection. For plant diseases, crop health management to minimize disease often relies on selecting resistant varieties, accurate weather or environmental monitoring, maintaining good air movement, and using proper irrigation practices. Whatever the program, planning and record keeping are essential.