Department of Crop Sciences

Integrated Pest Management

Overview

Integrated pest management (IPM) can be described as the intelligent selection and use of pest-control actions to promote favorable economic, ecological, and sociological consequences. Scientists involved in agricultural pest management programs try to optimize pest control by using multiple pest-control tactics. By maintaining pests below economic injury levels, scientists strive to provide protection against pest damage, ensure a competitive agriculture, and enhance environmental stewardship.

The Department of Crop Sciences offers expertise in the pest management arena through faculty in entomology, plant pathology, and weed science.

Opportunities for Study

Research programs may lead to M.S. and Ph.D. degrees with course requirements and thesis research arranged to meet students' objectives. Student research may be largely lab oriented or involve intensive field research. Specific IPM research efforts may involve:

  • optimizing management programs for insect, disease, and weed pests of field, fruit, and vegetable crops;
  • increasing our knowledge of the ecology and biology of insect, disease, and weed pests;
  • designing management strategies for pests with transgenic varieties of crops;
  • designing sampling strategies and economic thresholds for pests, and evaluating the economics of pest control strategies;
  • evaluating alternative (non-chemical) pest management strategies; and
  • improving the safe and efficient use of pesticides.

Career Opportunities

Opportunities exist for M.S. And Ph.D. graduates with companies in the seed and agri-chemical industry, universities, government agencies, and crop consulting firms.