Caring for the environment

Responsible and Sustainable

Washington Apple growers are committed to maintaining responsible agricultural practices that minimize environmental impact and ensure orchard sustainability for generations to come.

Growers in Washington State work continually with, rather than against, nature. Growers rely on natural pest enemies, pest-resistant varieties, pest monitoring, horticultural practices and other methods to minimize the need for agrichemicals. Today’s advanced pest management techniques offer other alternatives to pesticides, as farmers have a heightened awareness of environmental and safety issues.

Integrated pest management (IPM) is a philosophy of pest control founded on the principles of ecology. IPM can be conceived of as a structure whose foundation is established on a sound knowledge of pest and natural enemy biology and ecology. Based on this knowledge, monitoring, predictive models and treatment thresholds are used to determine the appropriate use of different control tactics. Several control tactics (biological, chemical, behavioral, cultural and genetics) are employed to avoid crop loss, produce a quality fruit, and minimize harmful effects on the environment. A definition of IPM adopted by Washington fruit growers reads: “Integrated pest management is a site-specific, information-based, multi-tactic decision making process for the management of pests that is profitable for the grower and promotes health and environmental quality.”

For more information on IPM in the Washington tree fruit industry go to the Washington State University Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center web page at