Apples are among the most important agricultural crops produced in Vermont. Despite research on and advances in IPM implementation in northeastern U.S. apple systems, pesticide applications remain a primary practice. Adoption of IPM implementation by Vermont apple growers was evaluated in a 2017 survey. Questions covered topics including farm demographics, self-reporting of IPM knowledge and status, relative importance of arthropod posts and diseases, practices that impact pollinators and crop pollination, use of electronic IPM decision support systems, scouting practices used in orchards, and tolerance of pest damage on fruit sold to alternative markets. Respondents reported apple scab (Venturia inaequalis ((Cooke) Wint.) and fire blight (Erwinia amylovora (Burrill)) as their most important diseases and apple maggot (Rhagoletis pomonella (Walsh)) and codling moth (Cydia pomonella (L.)) insect pests of concern. A mean 10.9 and 5.7 fungicide and insecticide applications were made to manage pests and diseases. Growers reported high adoption of pollinator protection practices, and over half of respondents reported reliance of wild pollinators. All respondents used the regional NEWA decision support system and rated its usefulness highly overall. However, on-farm pest monitoring programs showed lower levels of adoption, and respondents indicated a lack of comfort with protocols for monitoring certain key pests. Survey response information may be useful in tailoring educational and outreach materials to improve IPM practice adoption and reduce grower risk.
Bradshaw, Terence L. and Hazelrigg, Ann, "Status of IPM Practice Adoption in Vermont Apple Orchards in 2017" (2018). College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Faculty Publications. 28.