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An effort has been made to enable our commercial growers to be IPM self-reliant, scouting their own orchards and making their own decisions. For these growers, we have held 4 annual meetings each year across the state. This has included one classroom and three orchard meetings. In 1992 and 1993, the University provided scouting services to 20 growers to demonstrate the value of apple IPM to growers. A video was developed by Iowa State University and University of Kentucky to promote IPM awareness among growers. IPM manuals has been developed with growers targeted as the end users. Generic press releases and IPM brochures were developed and distributed to growers in 1995.

A backyard apple IPM pilot program was developed in 1994. This was a train-the-trainer type program with county agents from seven counties participating and 57 hobbyist apple growers involved. A instructional video was produced to illustrate cultural controls used to manage disease and insects pests in the urban setting. A manual was distributed to all participants, and a slide set developed for the county agents.

A number of cultural practices were evaluated with the backyard apple IPM pilot study. These included tree netting for Japanese beetle and bird control; modifying the environment around the tree using plastic canopies to manage fire blight; fruit bagging for control of plum curculio, codling moth, and summer diseases; and various types of mulches for weed control.

For our commercial growers, there has been a variety of research and demonstration projects including, root stock evaluations, sooty blotch and fly speck modeling, evaluations of predictive systems for disease and insect control, MARYBLYT validation for Kentucky, NY IPM (Scheduled curative) scab program validation, plum curculio trapping, fruit bagging for insect and disease management, and evaluation of summer oils for mite control. In 1995, an IPM and organic apple production study was funded by the Kellogg Foundation. This project will evaluate selected disease resistant cultivars and vegetable intercropping in small blocks within IPM orchards and organic farms.

Currently, about 1/3 to 1/2 of the orchards in Kentucky (~ 35 growers) are using IPM to some degree. The key diseases and insects being managed include apple scab, fireblight, sooty blotch, fly speck, cedar apple rust, codling moth, San Jose scale, plum curculio, and European red mite. Not all growers are necessarily using the same IPM approaches to manage these pests. Growers using IPM have been able to reduce the number of chemical applications and on average save nearly $71 per acre in pest control costs.

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Apple IPM web site created by Kerry Kirk - 2001 - Send questions or comments to Patty Lucas