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IPM good for fighting disease or insects on farm or in garden

May 30, 2006|by BOB KESSLER

Most people use IPM information when they farm and garden, but might not know it or understand it.

Very simply, it is a process of using the least toxic way to handle a disease or insect problem on the farm or in your yard.

It uses physical (pick off the bugs), biological (encouraging beneficials) and chemical tactics (using the least toxic chemicals) that are safe to the user and to the environment, and have the lowest cost.

Most IPM tactics are based on the farmers, turf grass managers, fruit growers and homeowners to have up-to-date information on what problems might be happening. Using that information, anyone can be aware that the problem could be in our area, too, and we should be checking our plants for the problem.


This information can be found by calling the IPM toll-free hot line at 1-800-736-6476. There is a menu that will direct you to the crop you are interested in.

You will get up-to-date disease information and insect activity, as well as tips on pest management tactics from the IPM program.

The messages are updated often and are available 24 hours per day, seven days a week. Give it a call and see how it might help you in your yard or farming operation.

'The Joy of Farm Watching'

A new publication is available from Penn State that will help make traveling throughout Pennsylvania more enjoyable for you and your family.

It is "The Joy of Farm Watching: A Roadside Guide to Pennsylvania Agriculture" and was written by Dr. Tim Kelsey, Penn State professor of agricultural economics. The guide is modeled after bird-watching guides, with a short overview of each of the major farm types in Pennsylvania, including a description of their production activities.

It is designed so when you see a farm machine, building or crop you can't identify, you can flip to the appropriate chapter and find a photo and short description of that item. It is 72 pages long, full color, glossy paper and designed to fit in a shirt pocket.

The guide includes short descriptions of Pennsylvania's 11 major types of farms, including beef, dairy, field crops, poultry, mushroom and horse. There's information about how the farms operate and typical production practices. The farm-type descriptions include an "icon" that is used in the subsequent sections to help you identify on which farms you are most likely to see the building, machine or equipment.

There are photographs of common Pennsylvania crops in various stages of growth, as well as information about how these crops are used by farmers. Photographs and brief descriptions of 15 major types of farm machinery typically found in the state are provided, including why and how each machine typically is used. There are also photographs and short descriptions of the different types of farm animals.

Single printed copies of "The Joy of Farm Watching" are free from your county Penn State Cooperative Extension office or directly from the Penn State College of Agricultural Science's Publication Distribution Center by calling 1-814-865-6713 (e-mail: Multiple printed copies of the guide are available for $1 per copy from the Publication Distribution Center. You also can download an online PDF copy of the guide for free by going to

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