(light upbeat music) – There are three
recommended IPM approaches for sustainable farming systems. Level one and level two tactics are aimed at preventing insect pest outbreaks. Numerous trap crop and
pest exclusion videos with research-based information is available on the Alabama
Vegetable IPM website. Use of biorational insecticides
is really the last resort in a sustainable farming system. All IPM approaches aim at
conserving the natural enemies. In general there are several categories of organic insecticides
in the market today. They have a wide range of
activity against insect pest. Organic insecticides are often called biorational insecticides
since they don’t persist in the environment and have
minimal non-target affects. Majority of organic products
popular today have contact and stomach action. These include very popular BT, Neem, and natural Pyrethrin based products. Based on IPM studies in Alabama, there is strong evidence
that biorational insecticides can be highly effective
against insect pest if products are chosen
carefully and applied timely. It is also important to
apply insecticides routinely under a high pest pressure condition as shown in the image above where armyworm and hornworm caterpillars devastated the crop
stand in untreated plots. The timely applications
of organic insecticides can not only improve plant stands, but the late season applications can reduce direct yield losses. Extension surveys have indicated that without the proper
use of pest prevention and control tactics, producers can loose 50%
or more vegetable yield. In short, organic
producers need to remember that they must document
pest species, activity, and effectiveness of control methods as part of a site specific IPM plan. It is a good idea to use pheromone traps and other monitoring tools in the
beginning of the season to detect the onset of moths. Drought and other environmental stresses can increase the insect pest activity that may necessitate the
use of organic insecticides early in the season. There are plenty of organic options for caterpillar control. If you suspect a mixed
population of caterpillars, weekly application of Xentari, a Bt product, has been very
successful in research plots. Xentari can be tank mixed or rotated with other active ingredients. Aphid control is yet a challenge although several products
appear to slow down development if used immediately after detection. Conservation of natural enemies or use of commercially available natural enemies in enclosed spaces are
some useful tactics. We encourage producers to
check out the trap crop video series on the Alabama
Vegetable IPM website for managing larger sucking insect pest. Producers are also encouraged to utilize good quality sprayers with
specially directed nozzles that improve insecticide
delivery to target insects. Scout crops before and
after organic insecticide applications in order to
record the effectiveness of the products. Stop using insecticides when not needed to protect natural enemies. Producers are encouraged to refer to the additional IPM training modules on the Alabama Vegetable IPM website and utilize several
approaches to pest management. Gardeners and producers can also sign up for the Alabama IPM
Communicator newsletter to receive pest alert and event
updates throughout the year. Don’t delay. Subscribe to the newsletter today by visiting the website shown here. Mention of product names
in this educational video does not mean an endorsement. (light upbeat music)