Farmers have a day-to-day knowledge of how they are managing the vertebrates, weeds, insects, diseases and other pests that may be impacting the production on their farms. Many factors go into their decisions. Some of these are:
- What kind of crop are they growing and how susceptible is it to pests?
- How are they marketing their crops -to food processors, to wholesalers, to retailers?
- What are the pest complexes present in their area?
- What IPM tools are available, effective and affordable?
- Many, many others
1. Gain an understanding of IPM in the real world
2. Learn about agricultural production systems
3. Appreciate differing perspectives based on experience
4. Learn interview techniques and reporting
Farmer willing to host your students
Timeline: Half a day
1. Give students background on IPM and why it is important in agricultural production.
2. Provide background on the type of farm you will be visiting.
3. Students work in groups to write a series of questions they would like to ask the farmer.
4. Have each group share their questions and rationale with the class.
5. Have students take notes as the farmer discusses his or her operation with the students.
6. Students can use IPM checklist to check off IPM steps and tactics as farmer mentions them.
7. Write a newspaper type article on the farm and the farmer's approach to IPM.
Analysis & Discussion:
What are the trade-offs this particular farmer faces in his or her management of pests?
Which of the steps and tactics could you identify that the farmer was using?