The University of Maryland Vegetable Program utilizes integrated pest management (IPM) tactics in all of its vegetable production programs whether they are commercial, organic, or home and garden. Integrated Pest Management relies on a combination of practices that consist of pest and environmental information along with available pest control methods, including cultural, biological, genetic and chemical controls, to prevent detrimental levels of pest damage by the most economical means, and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment. IPM programs use current, comprehensive information on the life cycles of pests and their interaction with the environment. The IPM approach can be applied to both agricultural and non-agricultural settings, such as the home, garden, and workplace. IPM takes advantage of all appropriate pest management options including, but not limited to, the judicious use of pesticides. In contrast, organic food production applies many of the same concepts as IPM but limits the use of pesticides to those that are produced from natural sources, as opposed to synthetic chemicals. IPM, through its multi-tactic approach will: lessen the potential for pesticide resistance, reduce chemical costs, limit human exposure to pesticides and lower the environmental impact of pest management.
It is the goal of University of Maryland’s Vegetable IPM Specialist to provide professionals, growers and citizens of Maryland in particular and the Mid-Atlantic in general practical knowledge about vegetable production practices for the purpose of sustaining the environment, enhancing economic vitality, and improving the quality of life of individuals and their communities.