AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala. – Whether an amateur gardener or seasoned agriculturalist, there is no denying that pests can sometimes sneak in and ruin a crop. These pests may appear in the form of insects, weeds or plant diseases—and all can be detrimental. Current and former Alabama Cooperative Extension System entomologists, weed scientists, plant pathologists and a pesticide education specialist have compiled an updated list of 2021 integrated pest management guides to keep these pests out of your crop.
What are IPM Guides?
IPM guides, or integrated pest management guides, are updated annually with information usually pertaining to herbicides, insecticides and fungicides that can be used to manage pests on plants.
“They may also include other pest management techniques such as cultural practices and disease resistant varieties that may be appropriate for certain insect pests and plant diseases,” said Alabama Extension plant pathologist and alumni professor Ed Sikora.
The 2021 IPM guides are available for access and download on the Alabama Extension website. The guides include recommendations for commercial horticultural crops; commercial turfgrass; homeowners’ lawns and ornamental and garden crops; houses, buildings and grounds; major row crops; noncropland and commercial trees and ornamental crops; pastures and forage crops and small and stored grains.
Why are they important?
The availability of pesticides, as well as application recommendations, are constantly changing, ensuring the need for these annual IPM guides and their up-to-date information. Each guide contains information about the selection, rates, application and proper use.
The 2021 IPM guides allow for the best management decisions to be made for crops or gardens. They are there to help avoid what Sikora warned are “unnecessary and sometimes expensive mistakes.”
“These guides are an excellent resource, and anybody that uses pesticides should have a copy in their truck or have the website easily accessible on their phone or computer,” Sikora said.
Anyone applying these pesticides should make sure to read the manufacturer’s label for directions on proper use and product restrictions. Reading labels ensures the safest application of the product in combination with recommendations included in the IPM guides.
For more information and access to the integrated pest management guides, visit the IPM page on the Alabama Extension website.