About the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Fruit IPM Program

Defined

The Fruit Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program is an educational delivery program for commercial fruit growers in New Jersey. IPM brings together all management techniques to manage pest populations below economically damaging levels. IPM includes many aspects of crop management, and may also be called ICM or integrated crop management.

The program is designed to help you, the fruit grower, produce top quality fruit by the most economical means possible.

Objectives

Objectives are to:

  • Help fruit growers produce top quality crops, limiting or reducing production costs.
  • Educate growers, field scouts, industry workers, and others interested in fruit IPM practices.
  • Bring together all pest and crop management practices into a set of commercially used methods. These include the use of: pesticides, economic threshold levels, pest phenology models, resistant varieties, optimum horticultural practices, weather monitoring, pest scouting, and fertility monitoring and recommendations.
  • Conduct research/demonstration programs that further the adoption of IPM methods.

Methods

The program works directly with a primary audience of fruit growers who directly participate with scouted acreage. Information is transferred via scouting reports, newsletters, automatic faxes, recommendation guides and other publications, educational meetings, and field visits. A secondary audience of non-participating growers (all other NJ growers) and others, receive IPM information through the above methods except for individual scouting reports.

How It Works

Direct participants, contribute a scouting and supply fee by themselves or through a cooperative or commodity group. Field scouts visit the farm once a week, scouting for pests and beneficials. Scouts are backed up by RCE staff to help maintain quality control and address management tactics.

What You Get  

peach

Insect traps are placed early in the season, usually just prior to bloom. Seasonal field scouts do a weekly scouting starting in mid to late April and continue throughout the season. Insect and disease scouting reports are written for the grower and used for pest management recommendations. Leaf tissue, soil fertility and soil nematode samples are taken in the later part of the season. Routine pest management issues are addressed by the RCE IPM staff through farm visits. Other production issues are addressed by the local county agent or fruit specialists. Post harvest fruit is examined for pest incidence. Pesticide use is analyzed and compared to fruit quality and in-season pest levels.

What We Need

  • Access to your farm and communication with you or your manager.
  • Farm maps or directions.
  • Access to pesticide application records; to help us give you good recommendations and for scout safety.
  • Sufficient acreage commitment; to give you more information for your farm, and to help keep the costs down for participants.

Seasonal Costs

Tree Fruit

$16 per acre with a $400 minimum fee: For farm operations with over 100 acres of tree fruit we need a minimum of 100 acres. For operations that are less than 100 acres, we need to work with the entire acreage. For small operations of 25 acres and less the minimum fee of $400 for the season applies. For growers who have over 25 acres, and who wish to have only partial acreage or specific parts of the farm scouted, a $25 per acre fee applies.

Blueberries  

blueberries

Fees are contributed through the Blueberry Industry Advisory Council. A grant covers 2 to 3 scouts per year and the acreage that can be covered with those personnel. Advisory council funds do not include fertility tests, which are for the direct benefit of the program participants.

Separate Soil, Leaf Tissue and Nematode Tests

Fees for participating growers reflect RCE lab costs. These have been: Leaf tissue - $18, Soil fertility - $6, Nematode - $6.

For More Information Contact

insect on a fruit tree blossom

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