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Chuck Benbrook's AAAS Speech on IPM Measurement (fwd)

To: Multiple recipients of list <ag-impact@freedom.mtn.org>
Subject: Chuck Benbrook's AAAS Speech on IPM Measurement
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X-Comment:  Agricultural and Environmental Impact list

Chuck Benbrook asked me to post the following information to the Ag-Impact
discussion group (he apparently has trouble posting directly to the list).
Chuck recently spoke about methods for measuring  IPM adoption (see
synopsis below) at  AAAS meetings.  He would like to get word out that the
speech is now posted on the World Wide Web at <www.pmac.net>.   Go to
"Measuring IPM Adoption," go to "Current Activities...", go to "Consumers
Union and WWF Methodology," and to the AAAS Speech "Indicators of
Sustainability and Impacts of Pest Management Systems."

Synopsis of AAAS speech on IPM measurement:

The speech covers familiar ground -- why measure IPM and pesticide use/risk
reduction -- and some methods to do both.  New ground is broken in
articulating an optional approach to measuring IPM adoption in very complex
systems -- like apple pest management in the Northeast and veggies in
Florida.  Practice- and point-based systems in such crops would be a major
undertaking.  Instead, some "sentinel" pests and components of the pest
management system, what I call "leading indicator" practices, are selected
(the specific components will change from year to year as a function of
pest pressure; high priority candidates are pests that periodically trigger
the need for high-risk, high-impact pesticide applications).  For these,
the knowledge and information base drawn upon by growers and pest managers
in reaching decisions, and how decisions were actually made -- thresholds,
phenology models, steps to avoid impacts on beneficials, etc -- is the
focus of measurement. Growers that do everything they can to avoid use of a
high-impact pesticide, apply it in the least disruptive/safe way as
possible, and then do what they can to avoid the need again, would score
maximum points.

The advantages of knowledge-based IPM measurement are that such an approach --
* focuses attention on what growers know, and do not know, and how they are
able to use field based information in combination with all other knowledge
re the biology of
* when growers play a key role in doing/discussing evaluations, it provides
a mechanism for communication among growers re what they can do in
addressing common, tough pest problems; and,
* provides a smooth mechanism for growers/pest managers to communicate to
researchers just what pieces of the puzzle they are missing in order to
translate promising, but not yet affordable and/or reliable biointensive
IPM approaches into widespread use.

Charles Benbrook                         202-546-5089 (voice)
Benbrook Consulting Services             202-546-5028  (fax)
409 First Street S.E.                    benbrook@hillnet.com   [e-mail]
Washington, D.C.  20003                  http://www.pmac.net

Dr. Lois Levitan
Department of Fruit and Vegetable Science
162 Plant Sciences
Cornell University
Ithaca, New York 14853

Phone:     (607) 255-3033
FAX:         (607) 255-0599
e-mail:     LCL3@Cornell.Edu