During 1998–2001, field studies were done to assess the efficacy of an integrated pest management (IPM) program using an action threshold and “reduced-risk” insecticides. The IPM program was compared with a conventional grower-based program. Program performance was evaluated based on management of Trichoplusia ni (Hübner), Pieris (=Artogeia) rapae (L.), and Plutella xylostella (L.), as well as the economic impact of each program on net returns. The action threshold used in the IPM program consisted of 10% plants infested with T. ni larvae, based on previous small-plot experiment station trials. In all years of the study, the IPM program resulted in significantly lower percentages of plants infested than the conventional program or untreated check. The mean reduction in insecticide applications for the IPM program compared with the conventional program was 23.5%, whereas, on average, the costs of the IPM program were 46.0% higher than the conventional program. Pest reduction in the IPM program resulted in an average of 10.5% higher marketable yields than the conventional program. Percentages of marketable heads in the IPM program ranged from 82 to 99% and from 63 to 96% in the conventional program. Mean net returns for the IPM program exceeded the conventional program by $984.20/ha. These results indicated that the IPM program reduced insecticide use overall, even though costs of the IPM program, with either spinosad or indoxacarb, were sometimes higher. Overall, net returns of the IPM program were higher due to active pest scouting, improved application timing, and increases in marketable yield. Given the potential decrease in insecticide applications and increases in net profit resulting from this IPM program, additional analyses should be conducted to quantify the economic risk, or consistency of the results, to fully evaluate the benefits of the IPM program compared with a conventional program.
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Vol. 101 • No. 2