Texas Pest Management Association

Texas IPM Vision

The Texas Integrated Pest Management Program will deliver sustainable, credible, reliable, and timely solutions to pest problems. The program will continue to educate farmers, ranchers and urban Texans about the benefits of the pest management program and how to access and safely use the IPM concepts to address pest problems in an environmentally friendly manner.

Texas IPM Goals

  • Ensure abundant, high quality food and fiber
  • Increase net profits for agricultural producers
  • Maintain or improve environmental quality
  • Reduce production risks
  • cotton, boll, agriculture

    About Texas IPM

    Texas IPM programs are conducted as a public/private partnership and cooperative effort between TPMA and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. IPM units are located in key cropping regions of the state and address a wide range of pest problems across major agricultural crops.

    The Texas IPM program is the only one of its kind in the United States where growers and government work hand-in-hand in a private/public partnership to protect the economic viability of the state's agricultural sector while helping to maintain a clean, healthy environment for all Texans.

    The Texas IPM program:

  • Teaches pest identification skills and pest management action thresholds;
  • Provides technical guidance and support for biological monitoring activities;
  • Teaches the appropriate mix and use of resistant plants, cultural practices, agricultural chemicals and biological control agents to control pests; and,
  • Uses a variety of mass media techniques to provide IPM information.

  • TPMA represents over 2,500 growers of cotton, grain sorghum, wheat, peanuts, citrus, vegetables, corn, alfalfa, soybeans and sunflowers. The organization also cooperates with 12 commodity organizations and maintains 22 integrated pest management units throughout the state. The information developed by the IPM program reaches over 8,500 growers, and acreage in the counties covered by this information dissemination is approximately 10,125,000.

    Over 18 million pieces of data on nearly one million acres of crops are collected each year to form the IPM database. Information on pest abundance, distribution and damage, levels of natural enemies, weather conditions, and soil fertility levels is critical to producer members. The organization shares its IPM database with fellow farm growers and agribusiness, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, TDA, the USDA and other states.

    Visit the sites below to learn more about various IPM programs and organizations.

    History of Texas IPM

    Integrated Pest Management (IPM) was launched in Texas in 1972 by scientists seeking effective and environmentally friendly ways to control pests that damaged agricultural crops and livestock. TPMA serves Texas agriculture by promoting IPM principles through education and demonstration. As an undisputed leader in advancing IPM technologies, the organization seeks to demonstrate the economic and environmental benefits of addressing pest management issues with proven science.

    Since 1972, the Texas IPM Program has made significant progress in helping to solve agricultural pest problems within the state. Pest management methods developed through the program are both affordable and environmentally responsible. Widespread IPM implementation in Texas has resulted in an overall reduction in pesticide use in many crops,

    peas, crop, agriculture

    Texas IPM Principles

    The Integrated Pest Management (IPM) concept is simply to utilize a sustainable approach to manage agricultural and urban pests by combining the use of all practical methods of pest control including biological, cultural, physical and chemical methods, in a manner that attains the clients' goals while minimizing economic, health and environmental risks.

    Under agricultural IPM program guides, farm fields are scouted on a frequent basis during the growing season. Data obtained includes crop stage, levels of pest populations, as well as beneficial insect numbers. The data is compared to established pest thresholds. Pesticide applications are made only when pest numbers exceed those economic thresholds. The result is that pesticides are used only if needed. IPM is not a single pest control method but, rather, a series of pest management evaluations, decisions and controls.

    Texas IPM Strategies

    IPM, or Integrated Pest Management, is a strategy of managing pests that is designed to meet an individual's production goals in the most economically and environmentally sound manner possible using a combination of control tactics.

    IPM is a systematic, information-intensive approach which depends upon an understanding of the entire production system. It strives to use several complimentary tactics or control methods to manage pests which makes the system more stable and subject to less production risks. IPM focuses on tactics that will prevent or avoid anticipated pest problems rather than remediate problems once they have occurred.

    Implementation of IPM requires on-going education about maintaining the delicate balance between harmful and beneficial pests. It further requires the use of the proper tools at the proper time to ensure that pesticides are not used prior to the need to maintain pest population levels below an acceptable economic threshold.

    The tactics or methods used in IPM include one or a combination of the following:

  • Genetic Control - planting varieties of plants that exhibit natural, genetic inhibitors to pest damage
  • Cultural Control- crop rotation, use of locally adapted or pest resistant/tolerant varieties, sanitation, manipulating planting/harvest dates to avoid pests
  • Biological Control- protect, enhance, or import natural enemies of pests
  • Mechanical Control- cultivation, trapping, pest exclusion
  • Chemical Control - chemical pesticide applications
  • peanuts, agriculture, field, crop

    Texas IPM Benefits

  • Promotes sound structures and healthy plants
  • Promotes sustainable biobased pest management alternatives
  • Reduces the environmental risk associated with pest management by encouraging the adoption of more ecologically benign control tactics
  • Reduces the potential for air and ground water contamination
  • Protects the non-target species through reduced impact of pest management activities
  • Reduces the need for pesticides by using several pest management methods
  • Reduces or eliminates issues related to pesticide residue
  • Reduces or eliminates re-entry interval restrictions
  • Decreases workers, tenants and public exposure to pesticides
  • Alleviates concern of the public about pest and pesticide related practices
  • Maintains or increases the cost-effectiveness of pest management programs

  • The National Institute for Food and Agriculture lists the following as key benefits to incorporating IPM technology into crop management plans:

    To Agricultural Producers:

  • Reduction in producer's economic risk by the promotion of low-cost and carefully targeted pest management practices.
  • Proactive avoidance of future pest management crisis; through research directed at potential short-, medium-, and long-term challenges.
  • Reduction of health risk to agricultural workers by fostering best management practice adoption.

  • To the Environment:

  • Reduction of environmental risk associated with pest management by encouraging the adoption of more ecologically benign control tactics.
  • Protection of at-risk ecosystems and nontarget species through reduced impact of pest management activities.
  • Promotion of sustainable biobased pest management alternatives.

  • To Pest Management Professionals and Organizations:

  • Augmentation of private research development efforts to develop lower-risk pest control tactics and expand the use of existing low-risk tactics to specialty markets.
  • Promotion of innovative practices that improve pest management effectiveness, which can increase customer satisfaction and reduce the risk of customer complaints.
  • Creation of a demand for new, innovative, and marketable products and services.

  • To the General Public:

  • Reduction of risk to the public by promoting responsible pest management in public spaces including schools, recreational facilities, and playgrounds.
  • Promotion of lower-risk residential and community pest control through educational programs tailored to homeowners.
  • Assurance of safe, reliable, low-cost pest control through improved pest management.
  • IPM in Schools and Urban Settings

    Urban dwellers can reap the benefits of managing pests with the use of IPM principles as IPM concepts are not only applicable in agricultural settings but within the state's urban areas. The methodology that has been successful in Texas agriculture is now being put to use in urban settings, residential subdivisions, parks and recreational areas, public access areas, industry, and in public schools.

    The Texas IPM Program focuses on educating people on the least-toxic approaches to lawn care, with the ultimate goal of reducing the amount of landscape chemicals that seep into waterways and degrade water quality. The IPM concept can be as simple as taking time to read and follow the label instructions for applying lawn and garden chemicals.

    When trying to control pests, schools must take extra steps to keep from harming children as well. The Southwestern Technical Resource Center for IPM in Schools and Daycare Centers is dedicated to keeping schools clean and safe for children.

    The Texas Legislature passed a law in the early 1990's requiring that IPM practices be used to manage pests in and around school facilities. The idea to incorporate the principles of IPM in school settings has been endorsed my the state's major environmental organizations and the Texas Pest Management Association.