Effective ecological arthropod and disease management begins with design and management of a farming system that avoids or suppresses pests and diseases. Such a system requires few external inputs. Knowing which pests and diseases are prevalent in your area allows you to implement strategies to manage them before they occur. By anticipating likely pest and disease species for crops you intend to grow, you can identify them correctly when they do appear.
Before you select varieties and plant your crop, look up common pests that affect the crop in your area. Learn about pest and disease life cycles, preventive practices, and possible treatments using resources such as the UC IPM website (ucipm.edu), your county Cooperative Extension offices, ATTRA’s Biorationals: Ecological Pest Management Database (ncat.org/attra-pub/biorationals), local growers, and other knowledgeable professionals. The information in this guide is not intended to take the place of advice provided by professional pest and disease management experts or organic certification personnel.