University of Maryland Extension

Integrated Pest Management for Vegetables: A Program Evaluation to Determine Value

Author: 
Gerald E. Brust and Teresa K. McCoy

The University of Maryland Extension (UME) Vegetable Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program works with commercial vegetable producers to enhance production and profitability while reducing the use of high-risk pesticides. A program evaluation effort was undertaken in the winter of 2012-2013 to assess if training and outreach efforts by the IPM vegetable program over the last 5 years had 1. Reduced growers use of high risk pesticides, 2. Increased vegetable yield and quality and 3. Helped growers’ bottom line. Survey results indicate that 51% of the respondents had reduced their use of high-risk pesticide applications and that these changes had come about by the growers’ increased use of reduced-risk pesticides and cultural controls. The average reduction in use was approximately 4 applications per season (~35-40% reduction in applications). A little more than 70% of growers surveyed said they have increased their vegetable yields and quality compared with their previous practices. Over 75% of growers indicated that the Vegetable Recommendation Guide is a good or outstanding value. The total overall value in dollars saved or earned by Maryland vegetable growers per year over the last 5 years because of knowledge and skill gained is estimated to be between $31-60 per acre by 68% of the respondents, 25% of respondents saved $61.00 or more per acre.

The information for the program evaluation has been presented and compiled on a poster that includes charts, tables, and photos. Select the link below to view the poster in its entirety.

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