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Greenhouse Management conducted exclusive market research to learn how growers across North America administer integrated pest management plans, budget for insect control, scout for pests and much more. Our survey of more than 300 growers revealed that most scouting crews include one to four people and more than 60% of respondents concentrate on preventative measures. Also in this special supplement, learn more about scouting techniques, rotation best management practices, biocontrol basics, pesticide safety and the pilea aphid. Editor’s note: Due to rounding, not all percentages add up to 100.

IPM plans and pesky pests

Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed reported they have an integrated pest management plan. This is positive news since an IPM approach focuses on managing pests through a combination of cultural, physical, biological and chemical methods, which help control costs and creates more efficient strategies. Of those who said they don’t have an IPM plan, 61% expect to implement one in the next 12 months.

Aphids, thrips and mites were the top three most problematic pests. In the “other” category, several respondents are battling Japanese beetles and flea beetles, as well as snails and slugs.

Photo courtesy of The Ohio State University CFAES

Scouting and pest management problems

On average, up to four people scout for pests and primarily spend more than 100 hours scouting during a 12-month period. More than half of those surveyed reported they scout daily for insect pests.

Price was reported as the biggest insect control management problem facing growers, followed by loss of profit from pest damage. Several respondents that picked “other” revealed that re-entry intervals were their biggest problem.

Budgets and processes When it comes to costs, more than half of respondents budget less than $5,000 for pest management expenses. Some 61% of those surveyed said their pest management processes are preventative, rather than curative. And just over half of respondents deal with customers who ask that certain chemistries be restricted from use on plants.
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Almost three-quarters of those surveyed said they use a form of biocontrol to battle pests. Of those who use biocontrol, 84% said they use biocontrol measures in conjunction with traditional pest control methods. Half of those surveyed who do not currently use biocontrol said they plan to adopt some form of biocontrol method in the next 12 months. The need for more education and a lack of confidence in products were the main reasons cited for not using biocontrol.