Organic and Conventional Farmers Talk About Pest Control Strategies In New Website Section4/2/2012 11:21 AM
As part of our work to provide more information to consumers about the safety of fruits and vegetables, the Alliance has added a new section called “Ask the Experts” to this website featuring real farmers talking about efforts to control pests and diseases on their conventional and organic farms.
Visitors to this new web section will learn firsthand about the progress organic and conventional farmers have made over the years as well as the scientific intricacies of disease and pest control strategies. They will find that disease and pest control challenges are very similar on organic and conventional farms and so are the solutions. Farmers often use the exact same strategies to prevent or reduce pests and diseases from proliferating, including crop rotation, planting cover crops, degree day models, pheromone traps, etc.
Further, conventional and organic farmers only apply pesticides as a last resort to prevent crop losses. Interestingly, once it is clear that a pesticide application is needed, conventional and organic farmers often choose the same one. This is further evidenced by an analysis commissioned by the Alliance that examined 10 years of pesticide use trends. That analysis showed that two out of the top three pesticides used on California farms were sulfur and mineral oil – approved for both organic and conventional crop production.
We think consumers will be impressed by the care, commitment and knowledge of these farmers. The new website section will answer many commonly asked questions about pesticide use on conventional and organic crops and as well as underscore the safety of both production systems.