Technical/Information Need  
• What effects does soil quality have on plant attractiveness and
susceptibility to insect pests and damage? (For example, are "dead soils"
creating a pest problem through lack of balanced plant nutrition?) What are
options for better soil management (cover crops, green manures, adding
compost, reduce tillage, etc)
• What cultural or habitat options can be implemented before the crop is
planted? (See ATTRA's Farmscaping to Enhance Biological Control)
• What are crop rotation options and their effect on pest management
(insects, weeds and plant pathogens)?
• What are cover crop options and their effect on pest management?

Pest-resistant cultivars
(Proactive pest management options) • Cultivars should be resistant to
major pest(s).
• Cultivars should have appropriate mode of resistance.
• Cultivars should be appropriate for the area.
• Cultivars should be commercially available.
• Cultivars must have a market (a concern with some genetically modified
crops).

IPM Technical Information
• Develop sources for biointensive IPM information and information about
cropping systems ecology, farmscaping, and ecological soil management.
• Check with state or county Extension for the latest IPM program for a
particular crop/pest complex.
• IPM program should establish an Economic Injury Level (EIL) for major
pests, including (ideally) weeds.
• How do major pest EILs change with time and how does this influence
management practices?

Monitoring options
• Will scouting be done in-house, by independent pest control advisors
(PCA) , or by chemical salesmen? Compare estimated cost per acre,
expertise, potential conflict of interest, etc.
• What is the purpose of monitoring: To determine number of pests
present? To determine stage of development? To determine type of
damage being done? To determine injury levels? To time treatments?
• Which pests & beneficials will be sampled? What are the key pests and
their natural enemies?
• What sampling method will be used?
• What other factors should be monitored? Consider conditions that may
increase or decrease severity of pest problems, such as soil moisture, soil
nutrient status, temperature, humidity, stage of crop development.

Record-keeping
• Keep field maps, and record the history of fields, the problems that recur
every year and where, the most problematic fields or sections of fields.
• Develop a record-keeping system that is user-friendly and "field-friendly."
Evaluate available software options.
• Develop a method of displaying monitoring information that will facilitate
decision-making. Evaluate available hardware and software options.

Pest identification: who can help?
• Help can be obtained from PCA's, county/state Cooperative Extension,
nurseries, universities and Web sites.

Pest monitoring equipment
• Determine types of equipment needed: pheromone traps, sweep nets,
hand lens, D-VAC™, etc. A PCA will have much of this information.
• Determine sources of equipment.

Reactive pest management options
• Pest management options and "fallback" positions (what if first option
fails?) should be planned in advance.
• What are least-toxic alternatives to "hard" chemicals that can inhibit
pests? What are commercial sources for these alternatives?
• If "hard" pesticides are necessary, what are the best times for treatment
in order to decrease pest populations while conserving beneficials?
• What weed-free period does the crop require?
• What are the costs/benefits of tillage vs. herbicide use for weed control?

IPM program evaluation
• All components of the IPM system—soil management, habitat
management, pest/beneficial monitoring, decision-making (including EIL's),
and treatments—should be evaluated for overall efficacy. Are the most
recently-developed EIL's and action thresholds being used?
• The IPM system should be modified and continually fine-tuned after
evaluation.

Farm equipment
• What specialized equipment is needed—mowers, cultivators, no-till drills,
flamers, beneficial organism application equipment, etc.? Is it more
economical to own, rent, or contract?
• Availability of pesticide spray equipment? Keep in mind that timing of
applications is often critical for good pest control. Is equipment grower-
owned or contracted?
• Will IPM increase or decrease equipment use and maintenance?