Farm-a-syst Glossary

Pesticide Use and Integrated Pest Management
These definitions may help clarify some of the terms used in the Worksheet and Fact Sheet.

Beneficials: Organisms which infect, prey upon, or otherwise interfere with pests.

Biopesticides: Pesticides which use microbial agents as active ingredients. Ex: Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis)

Calibration: Determining the output of equipment used to apply dry or liquid substances.

Chemigation: Applying pesticides in irrigation water.

Drift: Pesticide movement off the target area due to air currents.

Economic threshold: The level of pest damage at which the cost of controlling the pest is equal to the value of the crop yield gained by doing so.

Field scouting: Sampling a field for pests, beneficials, crop damage , fertility problems, etc.

Formulation: The form in which a pesticide is sold for use. Ex: wettable powder, emulsifiable concentrate, granules.

IPM: Integrated Pest Management. Using more than one technique to manage pests.

MSDS: Material Safety Data Sheets. Provide information on use, handling, storage, health hazards, precautions and emergency procedures. Required by OSHA for certain pesticide handlers.

No-till: Planting in a seedbed left undisturbed since the previous harvest. Weeds controlled primarily with herbicides.

Nontarget organisms: Plants, animals or other organisms which are unintentionally affected by pesticide applications.

Overwintering sites: Usually plants or plant parts in or near fields which protect pests and allow them to survive unfavorable seasonal conditions.

Perennial: A plant that lives more than a year or two. Ex: alfalfa, pecans, apples.

Pest: Any organism that competes with, injures, annoys or spreads disease among humans, domestic animals, wildlife or desirable plants. Includes weeds, insects, disease organisms, etc.

Pesticide: Chemicals used to destroy pests (insects, weeds or disease organisms), control their activity or prevent them from causing damage. Includes herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, miticides, etc.

Recirculating sprayer: Collects and reuses spray solution which does not remain on plant surfaces (does not refer to agitation in the tank).

Resistant varieties: Crop varieties with a known inherited propensity to be less affected by a particular pest compared to other varieties of the same crop.

Restricted-use pesticide: By law, can only be sold to and used by certified (licensed) applicators, or persons under their direct supervision.

Selective pesticide: A pesticide that is toxic to some organisms, but has little or no effect on other similar species.

Soil structure: The shape of soil aggregates. Ex: blocky, platy, granular, prismatic.

Soil texture: The percentages of sand, silt and clay in a soil. Described by such terms as sandy loam and silty clay.

Target pest: The pest at which a particular control method or pesticide is directed.

Off-target: Away from the site of expected activity. Ex: foliar-applied pesticide washed off foliage by rain, or pesticide drifting or running off the area where it was applied.

Send questions and comments to Craig Runyan.