Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices. Here are the practices we use at our farm.
Set Action Thresholds (acceptable loss before action)
Monitor and Identify Pests (See if the pest are spreading and what are they)
Prevention (weed control and talk to other local farms and Cornell)
Control (use sprays for the area affected, wheather they are Organic sprays or synthetic sprays)
Mercier Farms is a family owned farm located in the beautiful Mid Hudson Valley in New York. Nestled on 22 acres of land, Mercier Farms produces fruits and vegetables for both its commercial and residential customers. We have 1 main farm and 1 satellite farms where we grow our produce. One of our farms are located in the town of Plattekill. Our farm stand is located in New Paltz. Our stand allows our customers to try our produce. We are bringing back the Farm to Table freshness in our produce.
Here at Mercier Farms we plant everything from seed, either in our green house or direct field sow. Field preparation is key to having a successful growing season. We are constantly working the fields by either tilling or rock picking. We use horse manure and compost to fertilize the fields and lime to adjust the ph level. Because we use manure and some sprays, we are not a certified organic farm. We follow the practices of an IPM (Intergraded Pest Management).
What is IPM?
Why we are the closest to Organic growing?
We follow practices that will not allow us to become a certified organic farm. It is very expensive to become an organic farm. Organic does not mean the product was not sprayed. Yes, there are organic sprays and they are super expensive. The cost range for sprays are field, greenhouse and organic. Field sprays are the cheapest and organic sprays are the most expensive. At our farm we use a combination of organic and synthetic sprays on our crops. We practice the principles of an IPM. Sprays are expensive and if we don't have to spray we won't. Most of our crops are not sprayed with pesticides. To fight bacteria, fungus, molds and mill dews we use organic sprays. By adopting this method of farming we are able to keep the prices down and be more competitive.
However, the main reason is how we fertilize. We use horse manure we collect from our horses and local horse farms. Farmers have been doing this for centuries to keep cost down and replenish the nutrients in their fields. To be organic, you have to track where the horse feed comes from. You have to find out all the suppliers that supply the grain company and find out what there practices are. The same goes for hay, since the farms can get their hay from all over the country and some from Canada. It is impossible to obtain that information.
What is GMO seeds and do we use them?
Genetically modified organism (GMO) is any organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. Because this involves the transfer of genes from one organism to another, GMOs are also known as “transgenic” organisms. The term Genetic Engineering (GE) or Genetic Modification (GM); they are one and the same. There are tons of pros and cons about GMO seeds. Most GMO seed are used for field production (feed corn, cotton, soy etc.) Here at Mercier farms we check with all our seed companies to insure WE DO NOT USE any GMO seeds. Our seeds are heirloom, organic and hybrid seeds.