In my previous post on brown rot of peaches, I shared the view
that climate is a limiting factor with regards to organic production
in the Humid East.
I should add that I am very confident that peach TREES and
peach LEAVES can be grown by organic methods -- especially as it
relates to peach leaf curl and soil fertility and weed control and
irrigation and pruning -- but it is the brown rot and plum curculio
that effect peach FRUIT which significantly challenges organic
production at a commercial level.
Among jazz musicians, there is a saying: "First you learn to play
classical, then jazz."
Similarly, in sustainable pest management it is helpful to look at
the conventional--standard pest literature to see what you're
After you have know what the standard pests and procedures are, you
can determine what your options are in terms of altering cultural
practices and using least-toxic pest control materials within the
context of an alternative farming system that aims to reduce or
eliminate synthetic pesticides.
Here are a few websites and resources that can be very helpful
as you navigate the ocean of pesticide data in search of information
useful to the sustainable--organic approach:
Fungicide Benefits Assessment: Fruits & Nut Crops - East.
1991. By Kenneth Hickey of Pennsylvania State University.
National Agricultural Pesticide Impact Assessment Program
(NAPIAP). 244 p.
Summarizes the total acreage and economic impact of peaches
and nectaries in eastern and western states. Reviews the impact
of 15 fungicides on peach production (including copper and sulfur
which organic growers use).
"The application of fungicides is necessary in all regions where
eight or more fungal and two bacterial pathogens commonly occur. The
incidence and severity of each disease varies with the environmental
conditions in each region, thus more intensive fungicide usage is
essential in the more humid eastern orchards. Brown rot is prevalent
in both eastern and western orchards and may produce 75%-90% loss if
not controlled. Peach scab incidence varies from 50%-100% in the
mid-Atlantic states where losses may be as high as 50%. Two major
bacterial diseases that produce branch cankers, defoliation, and
fruit spots in some eastern orchards can cause losses of 10%-50% if
Office of Pest Mgmt/Pesticide Impact Assessement Program
This is the USDA website that contains a very comprehensive
review -- pest by pest and crop by crop, with detailed pesticide use.
An excellent new tool !!! A very modern and responsive approach
from the USDA.
Crop Profiles // OPMP-PIAP
Completed Crop Profiles, by State/Territory
Crop Profile Status, by Crop
Crop Profile Status, by State/Territory
Who Uses Crop Profiles and How
Pest Management / IPM Newsletters in U. S. States and Territories
On-line pest management newsletters listed state by state
Hawaii Pesticide Information Retrieval System
Normally, it requires a fee-based subscription to NPIRS to
obtain this kind of information. This Hawaii database is a
backdoor way to obtain it for free. Enter the pesticide product you
are looking for (including many organically-acceptable pesticides
like copper, soft pesticides, biorationals, etc.) to get Trade Names,
crop labels, target pest labeled, etc. If you need a quick glimpse
at what is really happening in the world of pest control options,
this is the sort of database that gives you a quick picture.
EPA Office of Pesticide Programs
Biopesticide Active Ingredients
****This is an EPA website still under development as far as
complete data, but the layout and framework to provide
this sort of information is very good. E.g., bacteria, fungi,
"Biopesticides (also known as biological pesticides) are
certain types of pesticides derived from such natural materials as
animals, plants, bacteria, and certain minerals. For example, canola
oil and baking soda have pesticidal applications and are
Commercial Biocontrol Products for Use Against Soilborne Crop
USDA's The Biocontrol of Plant Diseases Laboratory (BPDL)
This is the USDA website that provides a comprehensive list of
biocontrols for plant pathogens. Very practical, with data briefly
summarized in a user-friendly format for: Biocontrol Organism,
Target Pathogen/Disease, Crop, Formulation, Application Method,
Methyl Bromide Alternative Newsletter
This is the USDA website that contains back issues of
the Methyl Bromide Alternative Newsletter. A good place to
surf through research trials using cultural management practices,
soil solarization, steam, organic amendments, composts, cover
crops, and least-toxic pest control products.
For example, check out:
Research for MeBr Alternatives May Benefit Organic Growers
In addition, there are a number of other websites with good
information on pest management. That is another list altogether --
as a starting point check out Related Sites on the ATTRA web page --
but here is one that stands out as a jewel on the web to anybody who
appreciates an ecologically-based approach to pest management, from
commercial farmer to urban gardener:
Biological Control: A Guide to Natural Enemies in North America
A wonderful on-line resource guide to beneficial insects, with
color photos and summaries. A very useful tool when used in
association with farmscaping (i.e., planning your farm with
cover crops, hedgerows, and strip cropping to enhance beneficial
Speaking of "planned biodiversity" with respect to farmscaping
and ecological design=permaculture..... did you see the
special issue on Invertebrate Biodiversity: Bioindicators of
Sustainable Landscapes in the journal "Agriculture, Ecosystems and
Miguel A. Altieri's "The ecological role of biodiversity in
agroecosystems" is another classic -- especially those
mind-expanding diagrams that illustrate the COMPONENTS
(predators and parasites, earthworms, soil microflora)
FUNCTIONS (nutrient cycling, decomposition, predation,
disease suppression) and ENHANCEMENT STRATEGIES
(intercropping, agroforestry, rotations, cover crops, composting,
green manuring, organic matter amendments) of biodiversity in
agroecosystems -- but don't miss the papers on above-ground insects,
bacteria, mycorrhizae, protazoa, mites, ants, and other creatures
What, you didn't know these articles in "Agriculture, Ecosystems and
Environment" are available for free downloading in .pdf format
as a service from Elsevier until December 31st?
Well by gosh and by golly, check it out!
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environmen
That's all, happy surfing!
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