Integrated Pest Management

We believe that our ownership and use of this farm to be a great blessing and that we have a responsibility to be good stewards of it. Integrated Pest Management is the guiding philosophy behind all crop management decisions.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM):

IPM is a holistic approach to pest management that seeks to keep crop damage below economically damaging levels by considering pest biology and all feasible preventive and curative options. This approach attempts to minimize environmental impact and pest resistance while maximizing economic and environmental sustainability for the farm.

Some IPM practices that we use include:

  • Crop scouting and weather monitoring are always used to assess current and predict future pest problems.
  • Action thresholds established by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Pest Management Office and other crop specialists guide us on when to treat for a given pest to minimize economic damage to a crop.
  • When a pesticide treatment is necessary, only materials that are least harmful to beneficial insects and the environment are considered.
  • Wildlife damage is minimized by use of non-lethal methods such as a deer exclusion fence to keep deer from browsing the apple trees, mowing the orchard grass low in the reduce mouse habitat (meadow mice eat apple tree bark in the winter).

Food Safety:

As noted above, treating our apple crop with pesticide is necessary from time to time during the growing season. Even though any treatment is weeks or more old and has had time to wash off, photo-degrade or bio-degrade, it is always a good practice to wash all produce before eating it. We do.

This is a sticky trap used to detect the presence of apple maggot flies in the orchard. Actual trap captures are compared to action thresholds to determine if a targeted treatment is needed.

These McIntosh apples are covered with apple scab, a common apple disease in Maine. Without treatment they are unsalable.