Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Organic, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Conventional Agriculture: What are the differences?

by Bill Duesing

A recent study found that many people think that all local food is organic.  Others assume that all CSAs are organic, or that all the products at a farmers market are organic, or that IPM and organic are the same. None of this is true. And there's lots of confusion.

The Vegetable Management Guide for the New England Region provides much useful information not only for anyone who grows vegetables, and also for those who want to understand the differences between conventional, IPM and organic methods and produce. (The color photos of pests and diseases alone warrant a visit for anyone who grows vegetables or strawberries.)

The Guide is updated and published two years by the Cooperative Extension Services in the six New England states. A comprehensive guide for commercial vegetable growers, it is available free electronically or as a hard copy for a fee. Click here for details.

The Guide is intended for use by both organic and conventional growers.  It provides encouragement for conventional growers to use IPM practices, many of which can also be used by organic growers.