IPM is comprised of a range of pest control methods or tactics designed to prevent pests from reaching economically or aesthetically damaging levels with the least risk to the environment. IPM programs have basic components that provide the opportunity to make informed decisions on the control of pests on the golf course. The steps of an effective IPM program are as follows:
- Identify pests and understand their biology.
- Monitor the pests to be managed.
- Develop the pest management goal by setting pest population thresholds.
- Implement the IPM program.
- Record and evaluate the results.
IPM also encompasses the prevention of pest problems before they occur by selecting cultivars for improved pest resistance, using cultural practices to lessen the potential for pest pressure, and improving the effectiveness of pest control programs while reducing some of the negative effects. Chemical controls can be used when needed but should be selected to have minimal effect on beneficial organisms and the environment and to minimize the development of pesticide resistance.
For more information related to selecting appropriate turfgrass cultivars for Maryland and implementing an IPM for turf in Maryland, see the “Cultural Practices” section and the following additional resources:
- Recommended Turfgrass Cultivars for Certified Sod Production and Seed Mixtures in Maryland. 2016. University of Maryland.
- IPM Series: Turf. 2012. University of Maryland Extension.
- Maryland Pesticide Applicator Core Manual. National Association of State Departments of Agriculture Research Foundation.
Best Management Practices
- Develop a written IPM plan for your golf course. (Available resources for writing an IPM plan include the GCSAA’s IPM information and Greengolfusa.com.)
- Select turfgrass cultivars recommended for use in Maryland and best suited for the intended use and the environmental conditions of the specific site.
- Correct soil physical and chemical properties that may impact turfgrass health and its ability to resist pests.
- Evaluate the potential impact of the timing of cultural practices and fertilizer applications on the incidence of pest problems.
- When chemical control is necessary, follow University of Maryland recommendations to select the most effective pesticide with the lowest toxicity and least potential for off-target movement for a given weed, pathogen, or insect.
- Document all IPM-related activities, including pesticide usage.
Next: Identifying Pests