Best Management Practices (BMP) help to grow healthy, productive plants.
- Use clean tools and gloves when handling crops
- Clean pruners before using them on different plants
- Maintain a healthy soil by recycling nutrients and organic matter. Crop residue (unusable leaves, dead plants, stems, etc.) is composted and added to soil.
- Maintain soil nutrient and pH levels at an optimal range
- Maintain soil moisture at optimum levels for plant growth without water runoff.
- Apply approved fertilizers so that nutrients are available when the crops need them. For example, apply fertilizer to corn in spring so that nutrients are available for the growing seedling. Do not add fertilizer to corn after the ear has been harvested. Nutrients are not needed then, and the fertilizer will be wasted.
- Rotate crops into different fields every season. This keeps pests and diseases from finding the same plant in the same place every year. It also keeps the crops from exhausting the same nutrients from the same field each year.
- Plant more than one type of crop (polyculture). Polyculture is insurance against one crop failing and ruining the entire harvest.
- Monitor for pest, and use biological and mechanical means of pest control if possible. Mechanical - handpicking, spraying off with hose, blowing off with air. Biological - use of good insects or bacteria to fight the bad ones.
As Seen on CBS The Early Show: Battling Bugs While Being Green
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