the irresistible fleet of bicycles

orchard pest thresholds

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By C.J. Walke

The term “threshold” is used in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies to describe the level at which pest pressure and crop damage have reached the point where plant health will start to decline and/or crop damage will result in reduced yields. Typically these pest-specific thresholds are tied to the balance of the economic value of the crop versus the expense of the management action required to keep the pest in check. So while standing in the orchard, we debate: Will the expense required to manage a pest exceed the value of the loss in yield? Or what level of pest pressure can we accept and still attain a fruitful harvest?

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