IPM (Integrated Pest Management): How does it work?

Some of the farms from whom we source your fruit and veggies grow their crops utilizing an “Integrated Pest Management” (IPM) program. We consider both Brosi’s Sugartree Farm and 7 Oaks Farm to be IPM farms.

The main pest control practice for tree fruits at Brosi’s include an annual dormant season spray (a horticultural oil, normally, which penetrates and smothers pests such as the overwintering pear psylla and fruit fly larvae). Oftentimes, this is all the pest control they do; however, when it comes to controlling the “Spotted Wing Drosophila” fruit fly, they have the option to use “Delegate”, a product developed within the last decade which effectively controls this major fruit pest.

The main pest control practices for corn at both Brosi’s and 7 Oaks Farm is the use of a Bt spray, which helps to control the corn earworm. They also both cut down on the threat of this pest by rotating their corn fields each year, and by planting nitrogen-fixing cover crops to support the soil.

But if a crop can be kept healthy without the use of chemicals – organic or otherwise – both Brosi’s and 7 Oaks (and all IPM farms, for that matter), do so. For instance, most of their other crops (tomatoes, cantaloupes, cucumbers, onions, etc.) are grown with practices similar to organic farming: crop rotation, cover-cropping in the winter, companion planting, etc.