Our Safe Growing Practices:
Third Party IPM Certified Growers
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a science-based decision-making process that identifies and reduces risks from pests and pest management related strategies. IPM coordinates the use of pest biology, environmental information, and available technology to prevent unacceptable levels of pest damage by the most economical means, while minimizing risk to people, property, resources, and the environment. IPM provides an effective strategy for managing pests in all arenas from developed agricultural, residential, and public lands to natural and wilderness areas. IPM provides an effective, all encompassing, low-risk approach to protect resources and people from pests.
IPM means responding to pest problems with the most effective, risk free option.
K. Schlegel Fruit Farm is certified by and uses IPM growing methods set in place by the IPM Institute of North America. This third party certification means that we adhere to strict growing protocols and pass on an annual basis the farm inspection set in place by the IPM Institute of North America.
Applications of pesticides are always the last resort in an IPM program. If we have to spray, the pesticides that we use come from a reduced risk category which means they have a low impact on human health, lower toxicity to nontarget organisms (e.g., birds, fish, plants), low potential for groundwater contamination, low use rates, and low pest resistance potential.
With IPM the orchard is looked at and treated as an ecosystem as opposed to the “one size fits all” method of controlling pest and diseases used in conventional growing, which is usually accomplished by spraying. IPM takes into account the geography, climate, pests, and diseases that our farm specifically has to deal with and then looks at any available biological controls (beneficial insects), the soil health, and any needed nutritional support for our trees. By having a holisitc view of the orchard we are then able to deal with pests and diseases in a way that is safe for everyone and everything in the orchard. We try to create an environment on our farm in which beneficial insects can thrive and in turn help us to naturally control destructive pests. We monitor the pests in our orchards by using extensive bug trapping methods. This helps us know which pests are and are not present in our orchards. This allows us to make an educated decision on which pest control measures we need to take.
We also implement full orchard insect mating disruption which uses insect pheromones to help control pests.
Since the implementation of IPM and the use of mating disruption in our orchards we have been able to reduce our pesticide use by up to 80% when compared to conventional growing. We have also witnessed the flourishing of many beneficial insects that work with us to control destructive pests in the orchard and ensure a naturally functioning ecosystem. Here are just a few of them:
To learn more about IPM click here.