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Pest Management

Using a pest management strategy that identifies specific treatments for specific pests on specific areas of a field to economically protect the crop and minimize environmental damage.

How it Works

Crops are scouted to determine the types of pests (insects, weeds, diseases) and their stage of development. The potential damage from the pest is weighed against the cost of control. If pest control is economical, alternatives are evaluated to select the best treatment in terms of cost, effectiveness and environmental impact. Specific treatment only when needed saves money, prevents over-treatment and protects water quality.


  • Use crop rotations to reduce the chance of insect problems.
  • Use records of past crops and pest control to help evaluate effectiveness of various treatments.
  • Before using a pesticide, consider the leaching and runoff potential of both the pesticide and the soils on the farm.
  • Use the lowest practical application rate, and use spot treatment or banding when possible.
  • Calibrate sprayers.
  • Follow safety guidelines for handling pesticides (wear protective clothing, mix and load in an area designed to protect water quality, triple rinse containers and burn paper bags).


  • Scout every year and keep records to best identify pests and control effectiveness.
  • Design crop rotations to minimize pests.

Questions?  Ask a Conservationist!