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  #1  
Old 01-15-2000, 04:02 AM
SLSNursery SLSNursery is offline
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: West Haven, CT
Posts: 442
I noticed a lot of discussions about fertilizing and pest control (organic or not). I have a couple of questions/comments that might stir up some thoughts on the matter and shed some light on the subject for those just starting out.<p>IPM - Integrated Pest Management - is a practice that is currently taking hold in the U.S. In CT it is going to be mandated by law in schools first, then the rest of the state, and finally home/commercial lawns (it applies to the other pesticide industries too-not just lawn care). IPM, in short advocates use of low impact control measures when necessary for the control of pests. IPM is going to make 5 step or 4 step programs obsolete, and those who rely on them should take heed. Instead, an IPM progam would force scouting to determine a pests presence, record keeping to assess a threshold level, and then treatment to correct the problem, or to prevent a repeat problem. <p>An example of IPM could go like this:A lot of companies used to just spread Diazinon, Oftanol, Dursban, etc. in August whether or not there where insects on a lawn, then bill for step 3 and get on with the season. An IPM approach would say, by means of monitoring, or tracking historical data, wait until a threshold level of insects is reached, and then treat with an effective, short-residual treatment like Dylox. Or, if it works, and the problem occurs annually, implement some sort of prevention - like using Merit, or another preventative. If you want, implement natural alternatives. IPM doesn't mean no pesticides, it just means to think about your approach.<p>IPM doesn't have to cost more or less. In fact, if you sell a customer full service, IPM is really just common sense. You can bill the customer for a 5 step program, but maybe after you kill most of the weeds, instead of bombarding the lawn with weed and feed you can inspect it and spot treat with with a low volume type sprayer. You will actually save time and materials, and give the customer a better service. I think that this approach, weekly or monthly monitoring of lawns, and an informed client base will help anyone, at any level provide a better quality service that is more valuable to a customer than the package a franchise type outfit could provide at any cost.<p>You will need to educate yourself and your clients, as well as find out about state laws that might affect pesticide use. All/most states require a license for lawn care (pesticide use), so step one is always education. Then, find a trade group, or at least a reliable and friendly competitor who can let you know what is going on in the industry (like in this forum). Thirdly, continue your education, and stay informed. We give classes at our shop (with the help of the University of Connecticut Extension Service) for pesticide licensing. How many readers have taken classes or attended educational seminars? They are usually available at places like mine, Lesco, or other suppliers. <p>----------<br>Phil Grande - Soundview Landscape Supply - http://members.aol.com/slsnursery<br>Ivy League Landscaping - http://members.aol.com/scagrider
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  #2  
Old 01-15-2000, 09:20 AM
Yard Yard is offline
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Location: So. Central CT
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Great post Phil. I think people really need to start thinking about what and how much product they're putting down. I know everyone is worried about the bottom line, but when all is said and done, the real bottom line is your health! I'm no expert on the subject so I won't go on about what the health ramifications are, but too many people don't realize or just don't care about the long term effects a lot of these chemicals have on ourselves and the enviroment. I.P.M. is a great way to start and I applaud everyone that is being more responsible with their applications. I also urge you to look into natural solutions for your turf and landscape problems. There are golf courses across the country that use 100% natural products for their turf applications with great success. If they're able to why can't we? Unfortunately organic products are more expensive than traditional chemical products right now, but hopefully when more people begin using them, the prices will come down. <p>I guess the bottom line is no matter what method you choose, be responsible and know what you are applying and why, and if it's really needed. <p>
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  #3  
Old 01-16-2000, 03:46 PM
jeffclc
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I think that IPM is great in theory, but out in the field things may happen a little differently. Don't get me worng, I'm all for saving the enviroment, however, I'm also in business to make money.<p>Part of IPM is to use non chemical measures to control pests. Some examples are cultural and biological controls. These may work, and provide satisfactory results, but they may also cost more $$$ and also take a longer time to achieve the same results as a pesticide. <p>An example would be to put netting or pie pans around plants to keep deer from eating them. This would be environmentally safe. Another solution would be to plant plants that deer do not like. Another option would be to simply shoot the deer. The last solution would be to use a pesticide to keep the deer damage to an acceptable level.<p>The first choices all would work, but are they going to yeild fast and inexpensive results? Are they going to be astheticly pleasing? Are they the most economical? Are they what your customer wants to do/hear?<p>Probally not. The truth of the matter is that people want results fast and inexpensive. People don't seem to want to pay extra just because the product is environmentaly friendly. People want the quick and easy way out. Spray and go. <p>I think that that is part of the reason that the organic programs are not as popular as they could be. They cost more, and yeild results that are not equal to their synthetic counterparts. Would you want to pay more for a product that does not do as good of a job as a less expensive counterpart?<p>I have found that most products that are &quot;environmentaly friendly&quot; do not work near as well as their skull and crossbones counterparts. I am not talking about fertlizers and weed killers either. Glues, paints, cleaners, ect. that have a whole page of warnings, and cautions seem to work much better than the ones that have the Christmas tree on the label. <p>As far as SLSNursery saying about the use of IPM becoming manditory, I wonder when our government will outlaw all pesticides for use by homeowners? When will only licensed companies will be able to purchase and use the products? Think it can't happen, it already did in the automotive world with Freon. How long before this happens to pesticides??? Probally would be great for business though!
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  #4  
Old 01-17-2000, 09:36 AM
Foster Foster is offline
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  #5  
Old 01-17-2000, 11:55 AM
Lazer Lazer is offline
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Jeffclc,<p>Thank-you for your input. As I understand IPM as we've studied it the past 10 years is that pesticides are part of the control measures. IPM encourages cultural controls but does not leave pesticides out of the question. IPM also means identification of the pest life cycle, so the pesticide can applied correctly and timely, having maximum pest control with a minimum impact on the environment. Wouldn't you think that proper pest ID would just make sense anyway?<p>As far as the environmentally friendly products not being as effective, I believe that is changing. For example, for weed control, Confront (Triclopyr & Clopiralid) is a far more effective broadlead weed control on most weeds than 2,4D and is more envirnmentally friendly. (You use far less chemical)<p>I think IPM just makes sense. It's environmentally sound, uses pesticides when needed, encourages cultural controls, dictates that the pest be identified and the best control prescribed. It's good business.<br>
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  #6  
Old 01-18-2000, 08:01 AM
CLM1 CLM1 is offline
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Charlotte N.C.
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I personally feel that the USDA should crack down on this industry as far as what is available to the homeowner. I went to the time,trouble,and expense to get my certification plus the time and expense to keep it current. If you think I'm wrong just visit your local hardware, farm supply or better yet Home Depot. I'm amazed/scared at what Joe Blow can just walk right in and buy and go use it on his own or 25 of his customers lawns. I don't know about other state but here in N.C. it's the LAW, you must READ the entire label BEFORE purchase. Funny, I've never been confronted to do so by my local supplier? Just my .02 worth. Good day to all!
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  #7  
Old 01-19-2000, 06:03 AM
SLSNursery SLSNursery is offline
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: West Haven, CT
Posts: 442
Well, I'm glad to see some folks are using or considering IPM. I wanted to mention that I am not against pesticide use, or out to save the environment by myself. Its just that after a few years, I noticed that it is cheaper to scout and inspect, then react, than it is to buy and apply all the expensive products. We basically charge the same amount per year per account whether or not we use pesticides. I also am not an advocate for the pie pans, or milky spore, etc. But, I have put up owls or bird eyes to keep birds off of houses or fields. And when it doesn't work, we try other means of control.<p>Also, I am afraid of too-much government. Last year, on a routine inspection of my supply business, the DEP inspector starts asking questions about who is buying what, and am I sure that they are licensed, etc. I only have to record sales of restricted use products, not general use, so I asked him to go to Home Depot, Lowes, and Lesco, then get back to me. He didn't, and the law says that the DEP really can't track sales of non restricted use pesticides. He seemed to think that he could though! There are definitely, in my opinon, more problems with homeowner pesticide use than professionals. This is another reason to adopt IPM practices, so that when the $@it hits the fan, you will already be out of the way.<p><p>----------<br>Phil Grande - Soundview Landscape Supply - http://members.aol.com/slsnursery<br>Ivy League Landscaping - http://members.aol.com/scagrider
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  #8  
Old 01-20-2000, 09:34 AM
TheLawnRanger TheLawnRanger is offline
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Location: Hickory,NC
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Where I live you need to have applicators license before you spray and charge. You take a course and exam before license are given. Severe fines if caught without them.
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  #9  
Old 01-20-2000, 09:45 AM
TheLawnRanger TheLawnRanger is offline
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Location: Hickory,NC
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Check out this. Lots of very valuable information.<p>http://cumberland.ces.state.nc.us/fertpage/fertmain.html<br>
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  #10  
Old 01-25-2000, 08:08 AM
jeffclc
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I have been meaning to add more thoughts here, but have been al little busy lately.<p>I am not saying that I am totally against IPM, buy I question the effectiveness of some of the non chemical treatments.<p>I agree that identifying the problem and treating the problem is the way to go. I also believe that preventitive measures should be taken to prevent problems before they occor.<p>A car mechanic simply would not start replacing parts, and hope that he fixes the car. Instead, he must diagnosis the problem, and repair it.<p>However, there are also things that he will replace before they fail, and do this to prevent a problem.<p>The same holds true for us humans as well. How many pepole get a flu shot each year, how many children get vaccines each year? This is to prevent the illness before it has the chance to occor. Many people have not ever had the ilness, yet still get the vaccine? <p>It seems that it is eaiser to prevent the problems than it is to cure them. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.<p>Back to lawns, IF you can prevent a problem by using a chemical, great. It is much eaiser to prevent than cure. If you can put down an incecticide to prevent grubs from doing damage above the estalibished threshold, great, your customer is happy, and the lawn looks good. <p>I agree that the 4-5 step programs could be changed. However, most lawns need fertlizer 4-5 times per year, and the manafacturers make things simple for homeowners to treat their lawns. I think that there will still be a need for the 4-5 step programs, but they may need to be tailored to each lawn or area.<p><p>
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