CRIMSON CRISP APPLES
Two pounds of Crimson Crisp apples grown by Beech Creek Farms in Tallapoosa, GA, which strictly adheres to an Integrated Pest Management program. (See below for information about what that means.) One order will generally include anywhere from 5-7 apples, depending on their size. Crimson Crisp apples have an equal balance of sweet and tart, and are wonderfully juicy. They're also widely regarded as some of the crispest apples on the planet! (NOTE: We've discovered that some of the more ripened apples have lost their tartness, while some of the less ripe ones are extra tart. I'm afraid it's hard to tell how ripe they are just by looking at them, but we'll do our best to choose apples that appear to promise a good mix of sweet and tart!)
1. What is Integrated Pest Management (IPM)?
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an effective and environmentally sensitive
approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense
practices. IPM programs use current, comprehensive information on the life
cycles of pests and their interaction with the environment. This information, in
combination with available pest control methods, is used to manage pest damage
by the most economical means, and with the least possible hazard to people,
property, and the environment.
2. How do IPM programs work?
IPM is not a single pest control method but, rather, a series of pest management
evaluations, decisions and controls. In practicing IPM, growers who are aware of
the potential for pest infestation follow a four-tiered approach. The four steps
o Set Action Thresholds
Before taking any pest control action, IPM first sets an action threshold, a point
at which pest populations or environmental conditions indicate that pest control
action must be taken. Sighting a single pest does not always mean control is
needed. The level at which pests will either become an economic threat is
critical to guide future pest control decisions.
o Monitor and Identify Pests
Not all insects, weeds, and other living organisms require control. Many
organisms are innocuous, and some are even beneficial. IPM programs work to
monitor for pests and identify them accurately, so that appropriate control
decisions can be made in conjunction with action thresholds. This monitoring
and identification removes the possibility that pesticides will be used when
they are not really needed or that the wrong kind of pesticide will be used. o Prevention
As a first line of pest control, IPM programs work to manage the crop to prevent pests from becoming a threat. This may mean using cultural methods, such as rotating between different crops, selecting pest-resistant varieties, and planting pest-free rootstock. These control methods can be very effective and cost-efficient and present little to no risk to people or the environment.
Once monitoring, identification, and action thresholds indicate that pest control
is required, and preventive methods are no longer effective or available, IPM
programs then evaluate the proper control method both for effectiveness and
risk. Effective, less risky pest controls are chosen first, including options such as targeted pheromones to disrupt pest mating, or mechanical
control, such as trapping or weeding. Only if further monitoring, identifications and
action thresholds indicate that less risky controls are not working, are
additional pest control methods employed, such as targeted spraying
of the least harmful pesticides possible.