UMass Extension Vegetable Program

Soil, Crop & Pest Management

Soil & Nutrients

Good soils are essential for successful vegetable production. To be profitable, growers must manage soils to provide adequate and properly balanced nutrients. This must be done with minimum loss of soil through erosion and minimum movement of nutrients into ground or surface water. A healthy population of bacteria, fungi and other soil organisms is also important in producing healthy crops. To optimize yield and quality of vegetables requires a basic understanding of soil and nutrient management.

Crops

For each crop listed on this page, you will find some basic information about growing the crop and a link to the appropriate section of the New England Vegetable Management Guide, which provides more detailed information on production and pest management for that crop. Each crop is linked to the major insects and diseases that affect that crop.

Crop Production Budgets

A Process Budget is a description of the production practices followed in growing a crop, the resources required, and the costs involved. They are typically expressed on a per acre basis. The dollar amounts in these budgets are outdated and for reference only. The spreadsheet format allows you to use these sheets with your own numbers to quickly calculate a production budget and estimate net revenue for a wide variety of crops.

Integrated Pest Management

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is the coordinated use of pest and environmental information to design and implement pest control methods that are economically, environmentally and socially sound. IPM promotes prevention over remediation and advocates integration of multiple control strategies to achieve long-term pest management solutions.

Insects

Correct identification of insect pests is key for proper selection of management techniques, including cultural practices, monitoring, biological control, and use of insecticides. Use the column on the left to visit our gallery of insects in vegetable crops. Each insect page contains basic information about the identification, biology, and management of the insect as well as link to the appropriate section of the New England Vegetable Management Guide where you will find up to date recommendations for chemical controls.

Diseases

Correct identification of diseases is key for proper selection of management techniques, including cultural practices to prevent disease and pesticides. Use the column on the left to visit our gallery of diseases in vegetable crops. Each disease page contains basic information about the identification, biology, and management of the disease as well as link to the appropriate section of the New England Vegetable Management Guide where you will find up to date recommendations for chemical controls.

Weeds

Correct identification of weeds is key for proper selection of management techniques, including herbicides.

Vertebrate Pests

Crop damage from birds and mammals can result in serious losses. Many factors that influence vertebrate pests are beyond the grower's control. However, there are many on-site management options that can reduce feeding damage. Examples of cost-effective strategies include electric fencing for deer and visual and noise deterrents for birds. These tactics must be deployed before the animals establish their feeding habits in your crop. Fact sheets on specific vertebrate pests are included in this section.