Penn State Features IPM At Farm Show

January 09, 1998

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Integrated pest management (IPM), a crop production system that combines a wide array of physical, biological and chemical approaches to manage pest insects, diseases, weeds and rodents, is growing in popularity.

Visitors to the Pennsylvania State Farm Show, Jan. 10-15 in Harrisburg, can find out exactly what IPM is and how it benefits agriculture, consumers and the environment.

The Pennsylvania IPM program, a collaboration between Penn State and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, will feature several IPM-related displays at the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences booth in the Main Exhibits Hall of the Farm Show complex.

"By using available information about what pests are present, their life cycles and behavior, and the range of control options, IPM often can help growers rely less on chemical pesticides," says Edwin Rajotte, Penn State IPM coordinator and associate professor of entomology. "And that, in turn, reduces environmental impact, enhances agricultural worker and food safety, contributes to farm profitability and minimizes the chances that pests will develop resistance to pesticides."

The IPM displays will include several interactive exhibits:

"IPM Tool Time" will feature a small garden of live plants with a variety of traps and other IPM tools and technologies on display.

"IPM and the Consumer" will center on a re-created Wegman's supermarket aisle containing various canned vegetable products. Wegman's, a regional grocery chain based in New York, has established an IPM labeling program to educate consumers about the benefits of buying products grown using certified IPM standards.

A display focusing on IPM information sources will feature production guides and other printed materials, as well as a live toll-free telephone service that producers can call for updates on pest infestations or for scheduled pesticide education programs around the state.

In addition, visitors will learn about biological control by watching through a microscope as ladybugs devour pest aphids; view exotic insects, such as Australian walking sticks and giant cockroaches; and use a computer to identify insects.

"There are an estimated 7 million or more species of insects, but only about 350 species are considered pests," says Rajotte. "Because you need to know you have a pest problem before you can control it, insect identification is a key component of IPM."

In addition to the IPM information, the Penn State exhibit also will contain a display on the deregulation of electricity generation in Pennsylvania. Visitors will be able to pick up free fact sheets on choosing an electricity supplier. Those completing a survey on electricity deregulation consumer issues will receive a free refrigerator magnet.

The Farm Show opens to the public on January 10 and closes on January 15. Hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday through Wednesday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday. Parking is $5 and admission is free.

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EDITORS: For more information, contact Ed Rajotte at 814-863-4641 or Chuck Gill Chuck_Gill@agcs.cas.psu.edu 814-863-2713 814-865-1068 fax

Last Updated March 19, 2009