Terry Bradshaw terryb at lostmeadowvt.com
Fri Jun 12 16:10:25 EDT 2009

>  Personally, I would love to see the concept of IPM agriculture blossom.  I would love to be able to buy IPM produce in my local grocery.  But somehow the concept has never gotten major attention among consumers and publications to consumers.  IPM is definitely the most scientific form of agriculture in my opinion.  It is based on the intersection of 3 realities, economic reality, and the knowle
>  ge of biology and chemistry.  

Hi all, reader for many years, very infrequent poster.  I just want to 
touch on this IPM thing.  Where I am (Vermont/Northeast), and in the 
crop I work with (apples), IPM is the norm. Rare is the farmer of any 
crop who doesn't want to save a spray- it's hot, stinky, expensive 
business, spraying.  I just got off the tractor after spraying two 
blocks each of IPM and Organic apples.  Nothing went in that tank that 
wasn't economically or biologically necessary, and I'm the norm. The 
concept that it's chemical or organic with no overlap is ridiculous...I 
use compost and Bt in my IPM blocks, and scout for scab and other pests 
and spray 'natural' materials, including copper and lime sulfur, in my 
organic blocks.  If anything I find that commercial growers (I do this 
for research) are more willing to take risks than I am and skip a spray.

The Rachel Carlson 'Sky id Falling' days are over, at least in my 
experience here.  That's not to say there aren't farms or crop that 
overuse chemicals (or on the flipside organics that ignore food safety), 
but they are the exception.  The reason the IPM brand hasn''t caught on 
is that it requires too much thought from the consumer; Organic is 
easily defined, even if it can be a hard and somewhat arbitrary line in 
the sand. Explaining economic action thresholds, insecticide classes, 
resistance management, and all on a sticker on your apple is a lot tougher.


Terry B

Calais, VT

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