Reducing pesticide use through environmental monitoring for pest protection
Strict grading standards require that fresh market apples be blemish-free. Consequently, Iowa orchardists are heavy users of synthetic chemical pesticides, typically making more than a dozen pesticide applications each growing season. The environmental and economic costs of this practice are high. Environmental contamination from spray drift and residues in surface and groundwater is an ever-present concern. This concern is critical in orchards located near populated areas. In addition, these pesticide applications represent direct costs to Iowa growers in the form of pesticide, labor, fuel, and equipment.