Evaluation Update: IPM and Organic Systems Signature Program

The NEIPMC is interested in knowing peoples’ limitations for adopting IPM. And, we now have a way to figure this out! We are exhibiting at conferences aligned with one of our five Signature Programs and actively engaging with individuals who represent organic and conventional agriculture, communities, climate science, technology and engineering, adult and youth education, and the built environment to find out what they think about IPM.

NOFA Conference

Methods: This cross-sectional survey identified barriers to using IPM practices among farmers and non-farmers in a randomly selected, representative sample of 271 participants from both years combined at the National Organic Farming Association (NOFA) conference in New York state. Data were collected from subjects participating in the conference in 2015 (n = 163) and 2016 (n = 108), and opinions about barriers to IPM adoption were assessed using responses to a questionnaire.

Participants: Participants were divided into two categories, farmers and non-farmers. (Farmers included producers, farm workers, and others making decisions about farm operations; non-farmers included researchers, extensional personnel, government officers, educators, consumers, and home gardeners.)

Statistical analyses: The two-proportion z-test was used to compare responses from farmers and non-farmers. Due to the cross-sectional nature of the study design, causal inferences between 2015 and 2016 cannot be made.

We asked participants at the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) Conference the following question: What are the two biggest challenges you face implementing sustainable / integrated pest management (IPM) solutions?


Need more knowledge about IPM

Need more IPM outreach

Need more scientifically-sound IPM techniques

Need better marketing for IPM

Need clarification of regulations related to pest management

Need more time to implement IPM

Need examples of effective IPM to learn from

Need more money to implement IPM

Need more labor to implement IPM

The most significant barriers to IPM adoption for farmers were time (30.52% in 2015 and 20.65% in 2016) and a lack of IPM examples to follow (15% in both years). For the more diverse non-farmer audience, large differences are seen in responses to some questions in 2015 versus 2016, but in general, knowledge, lack of time, and lack of IPM examples appeared to be important.

Significance: The findings will help us strategize our communications efforts and messaging to target specific groups in raising awareness and understanding about IPM. By better understanding the diverse IPM concerns of our clientele, the NEIPMC is better equipped to structure our strategies in order to enhance our knowledge-building and outreach efforts and make impacts in our local, regional, and national communities. We will continue to conduct this survey at future conferences and share the findings on our website.