What is Integrated Management?
Usually, the best strategy for a successful gardening season is to prevent pest and disease problems before they start.  This strategy mandates the use of chemicals, right?  Wrong!  You need the knowledge to stop infestations in their tracks and to do so without the use of potentially environmentally harmful pesticides!  Integrated Pest Management (IPM) describes practices that reduce the potential of garden problems from starting in the first place!  The Organic Forecast guides you through seasonally relevant Integrated Management practices to help you troubleshoot your gardening woes.
Integrated Management, Yesterday and Today
Integrated Management dates back to the 1960’s.  Overuse of DDT in cotton and alfalfa crops were causing major impacts; insects were becoming resistant so their populations boomed, beneficial insects were in decline, secondary pests were increasing, and hazards to humans and the environment were documented.  University of California entomologists developed the first Integrated Pest Management programs and within two years, farmers had significantly reduced pesticide use and showed profits!
Today, the Utah State University Extension IPM project monitors for insects across northern Utah and shares its findings with Utah residents and growers.  This service allows Utah State University Cooperative Extension to provide accurate, timely recommendations to address your pest and disease concerns.  Insects don’t follow the calendar; they follow the weather!  Therefore the USU Extension IPM project provides up to date information; The USU Extension Organic Forecast delivers pesticide-free options to your garden!
(Marion Murray, Tree Fruit IPM Advisory, April 4th, 2007)  www.utahpests.usu.edu/ipm
Understanding How Integrated Pest & Disease Management Works
Why even worry about pests and disease in the garden?  We live in the semi-arid desert so Utah doesn’t experience problems with pests and disease, right?  Wrong!
True – Utah tends to experience fewer problems with some fungal diseases than warmer and more humid parts of the country.
True – Utahans bring many garden problems upon themselves through improper care of fruits and vegetables.
False – Utahans can assume their gardens will not experience major problems with insect pests and diseases.
True – The first thing some residents do when they spot a garden problem is reach for a chemical solution.
Here in Salt Lake County, USU Salt Lake Extension answers over 4000 gardening questions in a single growing season!  We hear it all; from gardeners trying to kill spiders with a fungicide to residents fearful that earthworms are eating their petunias.  Truth is we all have a lot to learn about gardening!  IPM provides gardeners vital knowledge to help combat garden problems – logically!
Insect Life Cycles
When it comes to pest control, it’s all about the life-cycle.  Consider Integrated Management the Defensive Tackle of football – the goal of Integrated Management is to block the progression of a pest or disease.  This tactic prevents the occurrence of a pest or disease infestation which enables you from having to use pesticide control in your garden.  Your two secret weapons are:
Recognition: Knowing what to look for and at what stage and,
Monitoring: Regularly patrolling your crops for signs of pest or disease damage.

The USU Extension Service is excited to explore your garden with you and help you identify how you can reduce the need for pesticides in your yard and garden through this exciting new blog!