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Pest Management

Pest Management on agricultural and forest lands is the process of reducing the pressures of unwanted organisms on desired crops.  Unwanted organisms may include insects, weeds, invasive plants, and fungal, bacterial or viral plant diseases.

In NRCS, pest management is primarily focused on helping producers to mitigate the potential risks of pest control activities. Conservation planners evaluate soil erosion, pesticide runoff, leaching, or drift on a specific site. If water resources might be affected, they will use a program called Win-PST to identify soil/pesticide combinations that present a hazard to fish or humans. Planners then work with the producer to plan activities or practices that can help to reduce the potential for adverse effects. The conservation practice Integrated Pest Management (595) is used for this purpose. In addition to assessing and mitigating risk associated with pest management activities and products, an IPM plan may be developed.

What is Integrated Pest Management (IPM)?

In general, IPM is an integrated approach to pest control which focuses on preventing or avoiding pest problems rather than a focus on eradicating them once they are present. IPM activities and practices reduce the incidence of pests becoming established, thus reducing the need for chemical or other means of controlling them.

When NRCS develops an IPM plan, IPM strategies (Prevention, Avoidance, Monitoring and Suppression, or “PAMS”) shall be employed to prevent or mitigate pest management risks for identified natural resource concerns.

The term “integrated pest management” and its acronym “IPM” are widely used and can refer to anything from an individual pest management technique to a complex year-round pest management system. The NRCS IPM conservation practice is very specifically defined by the NRCS conservation practice standard, Integrated Pest Management (Code 595), which can be viewed in Section IV of the Electronic Field Office Technical Guide.

Planning Tools:

Vegetable IPM Spreadsheet (Electronic Field Office Technical Guide/Section IV/Conservation Practices/Vegetable IPM Plan Spreadsheet)

Maine Apple IPM Spreadsheet (Electronic Field Office Technical Guide/Section IV/Conservation Practices/Maine Apple IPM Spreadsheet)


Maine Dept. of Agriculture IPM

University of Maine IPM

National NRCS Website for Pest Management