The Lowdown on Organic Sprays

By Charlie Nardozzi

To order a copy of The Resource Guide for Organic Insects and Disease Management, visit: Cornell University.

Organic pest controls are very popular with vegetable gardeners trying to avoid excessive pest damage and also have less impact on the environment. However, detailed information about the organic pest control sprays available can be hard to find. Now a new resource guide from Cornell University will help organic gardeners and farmers decide on which sprays to use for various pests and diseases, and determine how safe they really are.

The Resource Guide for Organic Insects and Disease Management, (Cornell University Press, 2007; $15) features detailed information on various vegetable crops and the organic sprays registered for use on them. The first section provides cultural information and management practices for a number of important vegetable crop groups, such as brassicas, cucurbits, and solanaceous crops. For each family, key pests and disease problems are described, as well as control techniques.

The second section has fact sheets about specific sprays to be used, such as spinosad, neem, and copper. Not only are the materials and the insects and diseases they control explained, their impact on human health and the environment is also discussed. A third section explains other pest control methods, such as planting resistant varieties and trap cropping, and lists additional resources for growers.

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