Clemson University IPM
Guidelines Help South Carolina Cotton Growers
South Carolina cotton growers, who have
adopted a moderate to high level of integrated
pest management (IPM) practices recommended
by Clemson University, reported higher yields
and $57 per acre higher net returns than
growers who did not follow the guidelines.
The higher returns, directly attributable
to grower adoption of Clemson IPM practices,
translated to an overall annual return of
$12.5 million to South Carolina cotton growers.
Those are some of the findings in a Clemson
University survey of 162 South Carolina cotton
growers to determine their adoption of IPM
practices. NIFA, through a Southern Region
IPM special projects grant, funded the survey.
Overall survey results show that a high percentage of South Carolina cotton
growers have adopted a moderate to high level of recommended IPM practices.
Growers who indicated they “never or seldom” utilized Clemson IPM
guidelines ranked lower on the IPM adoption scale compared with growers who “usually
or always” followed the guidelines.
The survey was conducted at a time when state IPM coordinators and IPM program
evaluators are facing an increasing demand for hard data on the payoffs resulting
from public investment in IPM programs. Until recently, state IPM programs
were evaluated based on aggregate numbers of outreach activities. However,
with increasing competition for resources, research and extension programs
will be evaluated according to the same criteria as other agricultural inputs
(i.e., the value of the product must at least equal to the cost of the resources
expended). Thus, there is a critical need to quantify the economic returns
on dollars invested in IPM research and extension.
For more information about the Clemson University
study, contact Geoff
Zehnder. For more information about NIFA
IPM programs, contact Michael
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