Conventional Tree Fruit AMA/EQIP programs
An ecological approach to managing pests in agricultural crops is known as Integrated Pest Management (IPM) .Ipm involves compiling detailed and timely information about a crop and its pests to ensure that pest management decisions are economically, environmentally , and socially sound.
Natural enemies and environmental factors limit populations of insect and mite pests in natural ecosystems. When natural enemies are killed by man’s actions in any habitat or when pests are introduced to new habitats without their natural enemies, natural control often fails and results in pest outbreaks.
Tree fruit production in the eastern US represents one of the most complex and potentially stable ecosystems in agriculture. Approximately 40-50 different insect and mite species and about 40 different plant diseases are potential pests in Pennsylvania tree fruit orchards during the growing season.
Many of the most economically important pests are moths. For these pests, synthetic chemicals have been developed based on the specific sex pheromone that the female of each species uses to lure males for mating.
For over 45 years, organophosphate (OP) and carbamate (CB) insecticides have been the cornerstone of apple and peach Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs in the eastern US. A RAMP research project in seven states, involving 65 apple growers over four years, found OPs and CBs made up 91% of the average total insecticides/miticide usage (6.60 lb ai/A) in northeastern apple production.